There are still some open PhD positions available from July 1, 2021:

Projektbild A5 (Rosenhahn)

A5: Ion Coordination, Nanoparticle precipitation, and Polymerization reactions in Reverse Micelles Studied by X-ray Analysis

The effect of spatial confinement on nanoparticle precipitation and polymerization reactions will be investigated by spectroscopy and scattering techniques. The encapsulation of the aqueous phase within a reverse micelle provides a confined reaction volume with properties that are determined by their size and the used surfactant. Metal ion coordination, nanoparticle precipitation, and polymerization reactions inside the confined nanoreactors will be investigated by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, scanning electron microscopy, and UV-Vis spectroscopy. In addition, selected synchrotron-based X-ray analysis techniques including small angle X-ray scattering and X-ray spectroscopy will be applied.

Principal investigator: Axel Rosenhahn
Location: Ruhr-Universität Bochum

A7: Reactive Molecules in Confinement – from Matrix Cages to Surface Molecules

Controlling the reactivity of short-lived intermediates is one of the main routes to increase the selectivity in chemical reactions. The aim of the project is to synthesize and characterize reactive species such as radicals, carbocations, carbenes, or nitrenes in confined environments and to study changes in their reactivity induced by the confinement. Confined spaces to be studied are matrix cages, porous polymeric materials, supramolecular containers, and surfaces. A variety of techniques will be used in this project: low-temperature and time-resolved spectroscopy, EPR, IR, and UV-vis spectroscopy, and synthesis of organic precursor molecules including isotopic labelling.

Principal investigator: Wolfram Sander
Location: Ruhr-Universität Bochum

B4: Disentangling One- and Two-dimensional Confinement Effects from Wall Effects

The aim of the project is to determine the effect of the dimensionality of confinement onto elementary surface reactions and disentangle geometrical confinement effects from changes due to electronic alterations of the molecules on a fundamental level. Laser-induced photochemical reactions are studied on patterned surfaces (NaBr, AAO and rare gas layers) or within organic caged adsorbed on metal surface. The molecules comprise carbenes, phosphines, and phthalocyanines. Several scanning tunneling microscope techniques are applied, e.g. at low temperature in ultrahigh vacuum or with meV resolution, complemented by in-situ molecule deposition and laser activation as well as Low-temperature infrared spectroscopy under UHV conditions with sub-meV resolution.

Principal investigator: Karina Morgenstern
Location: Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Schematische Darstellung von Wassermolekülen zwischen FeS Mackinawit-Schichten

B5: Charge Carriers within Graphene Slit Pores: Toward Confinement Control

Electrochemical energy storage devices are playing a crucial role in the modern electricity-driven society. Using nanoconfined fluids in 2D and layered materials can control ion transport within such devices.

Very important charge carriers in water-containing such devices are the auto-protolysis products of water itself, i.e. the hydrated proton and hydrated hydroxide. Despite much effort, the dependence of their diffusive properties within the general framework of structural of Grotthuss-type diffusion is yet unknown. A major thrust of the PhD thesis will be to comprehensively simulate and analyze these processes using graphene-based slit pores of varying interlayer distances. Advanced ab initio molecular dynamics simulations will be used in a QM/MM framework to both, accurately and efficiently study these dynamical processes. Based on recent insight, intrinsic pressure effects as well as elevated temperatures will be considered being thermodynamic control parameters next to varying the interlayer width. At a later stage, other charge carriers, other confinement setups and external potential bias will be addressed.

Principal investigator: Dominik Marx
Location: Ruhr-Universität Bochum