PhD-student: Surfaces of acid water and ice studied with nonlinear femtosecond spectroscopy

Date posted March 1, 2022
Type PhD positions

In this project you will use advanced femtosecond spectroscopy techniques to study the properties of the surfaces of acid water and ice on the molecular scale. You will use the highly surface-specific technique of vibrational surface sum-frequency generation (VSFG) to study the hydrogen-bond configuration and orientation of water molecules, acid molecules, and hydrated protons at water and ice surfaces. You will also investigate the dynamics of these molecular species with the technique of time-resolved VSFG, in particular you will study the rate at which hydrogen bonds are broken and reformed, and the rate and mechanism by which protons are conducted along the water/ice surface. The studies will yield new fundamental knowledge on the physics and chemistry of water and ice surfaces. This knowlegde will be highly relevant for catalysis and atmospheric chemistry, as it will contribute to a better understanding and control of the reactivity of acid molecules and excess protons at the surfaces of water droplets and ice crystallites.

About the group

Ultrafast Spectroscopy
We study the molecular-scale properties of aqueous solutions and aqueous interfaces. This research is carried out using spectroscopic techniques including femtosecond vibrational spectroscopy, vibrational surface sum-frequency generation and GHz-THz dielectric relaxation spectroscopy.


You will need to meet the requirements for an MSc-degree, to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination. You have a Masters degree in experimental physics or physical chemistry. You are expected to have experience in spectroscopy of molecular and/or condensed phase systems. Experience with femtosecond lasers and/or nonlinear spectroscopy is a bonus.

Terms of employment

The position is intended as full-time (40 hours / week, 12 months / year) appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of four years, with a starting salary of € 2,441 and a range of employment benefits. After successful completion of the PhD research a PhD degree will be granted at the University of Amsterdam. Several courses are offered, specially developed for PhD-students. AMOLF assists any new foreign PhD-student with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

Contact info

Prof.dr. H.J. Bakker
Group leader Ultrafast Spectroscopy
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please annex your:
–  Resume;
–  Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).

It is important to us to know why you want to join our team. This means that we will only consider your application if it entails your motivation letter.
Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

AMOLF is highly committed to an inclusive and diverse work environment. Hence, we greatly encourage candidates from any personal background and perspective to apply.

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