Scientific Internship: Light-induced proton transfer in water

Date posted May 13, 2022
Type Scientific Internships

Photobases are molecules that after being activated by light can react with water, taking up a proton (H+ ion) from one of the surrounding water molecules. The mechanism by which this reaction occurs is not well understood and may involve proton conduction over several water molecules.

In this project, you will explore the mechanism by which water transfers a proton to a photobase, and how the rate and mechanism of this reaction are affected by nearby ions and biomolecules.

You will first study the enhanced proton uptake by a light-activated photobase, using state-of-the-art fluorescence EEM measurements. Next you will study the dynamics of the reaction using femtosecond nonlinear UV pump – IR probe spectroscopy. With these studies, you will develop important new knowledge in physics and physical chemistry.

About the group

The goal of this group is to study the molecular-scale properties of water, ice and aqueous systems like hydrated ions, membranes and proteins. The research is carried out using spectroscopic techniques including femtosecond (nonlinear) vibrational spectroscopy, surface sum-frequency generation and GHz-THz dielectric relaxation spectroscopy.


You have a Bachelor’s degree in physics or chemistry and will participate in a Master study during the entire internship period. The internship must be a mandatory part of your curriculum. You have a nationality of an EU member state and/or you are a student at a Netherlands University. Please note: As of January 2021 the UK is no longer an EU member state. You must be available for at least 6 months.

Terms of employment

At the start of the traineeship your trainee plan will be set out, in consultation with your AMOLF supervisor.

Contact info

Prof. dr. Huib J. Bakker
Group Leader of the Ultrafast Spectroscopy Group
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please annex your:
–  Resume;
–  List of followed courses plus grades.

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.

Commercial activities in response to this ad are not appreciated.