PhD Student in heterogeneous catalysis and VUV photoelectron spectroscopy

Website psich_en Swiss Light Source at Paul Scherrer Institute

The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is the largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. We perform cutting-edge research in the fields of matter and materials, energy and environment and human health. By performing fundamental and applied research, we work on sustainable solutions for major challenges facing society, science and economy. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether PSI employs 2100 people.

For the VUV Spectroscopy Group we are looking for a PhD Student in heterogeneous catalysis and VUV photoelectron spectroscopy.

Your tasks

You will study the catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) of lignin (Nat. Commun. 2017, 8, 15946) to gain insight into the underlying chemical reaction mechanisms. Therefore, you will apply online isomer-selective detection tools (VUV-photoelectron spectroscopy and mass spectrometry), which allow for detection of reactive intermediates, as established at the vacuum ultraviolet beamline ( of the Swiss Light Source. Further developing these techniques and the design and characterization of new reactors will complement the currently available setup. Your tasks will also include realizing measurement campaigns, data analysis and publication in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences.

Your profile

  • Master’s degree in chemistry or physical chemistry
  • Good communication skills in English (spoken and written)
  • Knowledge in the following fields is beneficial: chemical reaction mechanisms, catalysis, reactors, mass spectrometry, photoelectron spectroscopy, high vacuum techniques, vacuum ultraviolet synchrotron radiation

You will be registered as a PhD Student at ETH Zürich and your main working place will be at PSI in Villigen.

We offer

Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on-site infrastructure.

For further information please contact Dr Patrick Hemberger, phone +41 56 310 32 65.

Please submit your application online (including addresses of referees) for the position as a PhD Student (index no. 6413-00).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Sabrina Orteca, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland

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