PhD student in Atomic Physics: Structure and photophysics of nano-solvated molecular ions

Stockholm University
November 04, 2022
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at the Department of Physics . Closing date: 4 November 2022.

The Department of Physics is located in the AlbaNova University Center and has approximately 240 employees, 250 students at undergraduate level and 95 graduate students. There are four research subjects within the postgraduate program: Physics, Theoretical Physics, Chemical Physics and Medical Radiation Physics. These subjects span over several research groups with different research activities. For information about the Department of Physics, see: www. fysik.su.se/english.

Project description Subject: Physics

The gas-phase molecular dynamics and action spectroscopy groups at Stockholm University Department of Physics invite applications for a PhD position in experimental physics.

Nano-solvated ions, i.e. gas-phase clusters with one or several solvent molecules weakly bound to a molecular ion, play an important roll in a variety of environments. In Earth's atmosphere, sea-spray clusters form reactive seeds for aerosol formation. In outer space, photochemical reactions at the icy surfaces of dust grains contribute to the chemical diversity of the complexity of interstellar clouds. And in the inner space within photo-active proteins, nano-environmental interactions with water molecules tune the optical response of biochromophores. We investigate the structure and photophysics of these systems in a bottom-up approach combining optical spectroscopy and mass spectrometery.

Unique laboratory instrumentation available for this project includes a custom ion trap mass spectrometer optimized for the study of laser-induced fluorescence from trapped cluster ions, a system for detecting laser-induced fluorescence and photochemical reaction products of ions at the surface of charged microdroplets, and a helium nanodroplet time-of-flight mass spectrometer for structural elucidation of clusters. The student will have the opportunity to propose and participate in experiments at international research infrastructures such as the DESIREE ion beam storage ring and MaxIV synchrotron light source. PhD students are expected to contribute to all stages of investigation including planning, development of novel instrumentation, data collection, analysis, and drafting journal articles. Contribution to the design and implementation of a new electrostatic ion beam trap for the measurement of cluster lifetimes is also foreseen.

Applications should highlight relevant experience with e.g. lasers, optical spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, vacuum technology, instrumentation, programming, ion trajectory simulations, and quantum chemistry calculations.

Education at the research level A PhD education at Stockholm University is four years (48 months). The 4-year PhD program includes at least 3 years of research and at most one year of course work. The position may be extended by up to one year if up to 20 % teaching assistance or administration is included in the contract. The PhD student is employed (“doktorandanställning”) during the studies, with a monthly salary starting at SEK 28 000.

Qualification requirements An applicant who has completed a second-cycle (master's) degree, or completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits (4 years of studies), of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere, meets the general entry requirements.

In order to be accepted as a PhD student in Physics or Theoretical Physics a BSc in Physics (or equivalent) is required. The studies must include 60 credits of second-cycle courses in physics out of which at least 15 credits correspond to a second-cycle degree project. The degree project does not have to have been examined at the application deadline, but work corresponding to half a semester of full-time studies should have been devoted to it. For the subject Chemical Physics courses in chemistry may replace the required physics courses.

In addition, proficiency in English language, equivalent to English B in Swedish high school, is required, or

  • Previously completed University degree taught in English
  • IELTS score (Academic) of 6.0 or more (with none of the sections scoring less than 5.0)
  • TOEFL score of 550 or more (computer based test 213, internet based 79)
  • Cambridge/Oxford - Advanced or Proficiency level
  • The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.

    Selection The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training. The successful applicant will be selected based on documented theoretical and experimental knowledge relevant for the area of study, knowledge of scientific theory and method, analytical skills, personal motivation and team working skills. Well-developed English language skills are required. The applicants are encouraged to provide supporting documents that substantiate qualifications, e.g., knowledge, skills, abilities and experience.

    References and interviews will be used to assess qualifications of the applicants. We seek a self-motivated candidate with good analytical abilities and skilled in English.

    Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: www. su.se/rules and regulations.

    Terms of employment Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

    The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

    Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

    Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

    Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

    Contact For more information, please contact Docent Mark Stockett, Mark.Stockett@fysik.su.se, or Professor Michael Odelius, studierektorfu@fysik.su.se.

    Union representatives Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), tfn 0708-16 26 64, saco@saco.su.se, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), tfn 08-16 34 89, alejandra@st.su.se, seko@seko.su.se (SEKO) and doktorandrepresentant, doktorandombud@sus.su.se.

    Application Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

    Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references Important: Your academic referees should send us recommendation letters no later than November 4, 2022, via e-mail to: FV-3666-22.refletters@fysik.su.se and state in the subject line: SU FV-3666-22
  • name of the applicant.
  • and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter describing among other things: – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement – what makes you suitable for the project in question

  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses

  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).
  • The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position.

    You are welcome to apply!

    Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

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