PhD Student or Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m/d) | Model Studies of Highly Dispersed Metal Catalysts for CO2 Hydrogenation

Scientist Berlin
Chemistry Solid State Research & Material Sciences Particle, Plasma and Quantum Physics
Job Offer from January 21, 2022

The Department of Interface Science headed by Prof. Beatriz Roldán Cuenya at the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin carries out cutting-edge research on advanced functional materials with applications in heterogeneous catalysis, energy conversion and electrochemistry. By combining unique synthesis methods, state-of-the art tools for experimental characterization and advanced approaches to data analysis, atomistic details of thermal catalysis and electrochemical reactions at gas/solid and liquid/solid interfaces are revealed. In particular, structure-reactivity correlations on nanostructured materials can be established, paving the way for the rational design of novel catalytic materials.

We are looking for a PhD student or Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m/d) for the Structure and Reactivity group at the Department of Interface Science.

Project: Model studies of highly dispersed metal catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation

We employ a “surface science” approach for molecular level understanding of the structure-reactivity relationships for highly dispersed metal catalysts supported on oxides, in particular in the CO2 hydrogenation reaction. We use planar systems of different levels of complexity (e.g., single crystals, thin oxide films, metal nanoparticles on single crystals and oxide films). The nanoparticles can be prepared by physical vapor deposition or using colloidal chemistry. The model systems are structurally characterized by a variety of techniques, such as scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), both in vacuum and at near atmospheric pressures; Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), a low energy electron diffraction (LEED). Temperature programmed desorption (TPD) and infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRAS) are used for adsorption and reactivity studies. The project includes studies on surface chemistry of supported metal clusters down to single atoms and focuses on the size, support effects on reactivity, and the role of promoters.


We expect a PhD candidate to have:

  • A Master degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Physics, Physical Chemistry or Chemical Engineering
  • First publication(s) in peer-reviewed journals
  • Knowledge about ultra-high-vacuum technology and basic techniques used in “surface science”
  • High motivation, collaborative spirit, and good English skills

We expect a postdoctoral candidate to have:

  • A PhD degree in Chemistry, Physics, Physical Chemistry or Chemical Engineering
  • A strong publication record
  • Experience in ultra-high vacuum setups and good experimental skills, e.g. in STM, XPS
  • Knowledge about thin films preparation is profitable
  • Ability to solve scientific and instrumental challenges
  • Collaborative spirit and good English skills

Your application

Please submit your application via our online application portal including the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • List of publications
  • Recommendation letters or names and email addresses of references

Closing date: Applications will be accepted from immediately until the position is filled. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.

Max Planck Society

The Max Planck Society endeavours to achieve gender equality and diversity. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society aims to increase the participation of women in research. Therefore, applications by women are particularly welcome. The Max Planck Society is also committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.


The Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) is located in the quiet south-west of Gemany’s capital Berlin, which is a large, tolerant and cosmopolitan city. Berlin offers a wide variety of culture, art, music, and outdoor opportunities.

For more information please contact: Dr. Shamil Shaikhutdinov ()

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