PhD Student

Your tasks

The design and discovery of new materials able to sustain an efficient solar watersplitting process for hydrogen generation promises an enormous breakthrough for the solar-energy storage in the form of a clean and renewable fuel. The advancement towards the discovery of novel materials able to fulfil all the requirements for efficient solar-to-hydrogen conversion requires the comprehensive understanding of the photocatalyst surfaces’ electronic structure and its evolution across the photocatalytic reaction. The most direct experimental method to probe the electronic structure is synchrotron-radiation based soft-X-Ray angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES).
You will investigate the electronic structure of the surface of thin films of materials for photoelectrochemical solar water splitting. You will be involved in the fabrication by pulsed laser deposition of thin films of various photocatalytic materials and will be responsible for their structural, morphological, and photoelectrochemical characterizations. The electronic structure of these materials will be explored at the Advanced Resonant Spectroscopies Adress and Surface / Interface Spectroscopy SIS beamlines of the Swiss Light Source. These two advanced spectroscopic facilities will give you unique research possibilities at the crossroads of fundamental and applied solid-state physics and chemistry. You will collaborate with research teams from the Photon Science Division and the Division for Research with Neutrons and Muons at PSI. You will be embedded in the PSI's scientific community and, besides your own research, will be involved in support of external users of the Swiss Light Source from around the world. The PhD degree will be received from the ETH Zürich.

Your profile

  • Master degree in physics or chemistry 
  • Strong background in solid-state physics, chemistry and/or properties of materials 
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English is essential 
  • Strong team-player attitude 
  • Previous experience on thin-film growth and spectroscopic methods will be a plus 
  • Ability to work outside standard working time (night or weekend shifts) when needed during the beamtime at the Swiss Light Source

We offer

Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on-site infrastructure. 

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr Thomas Lippert, phone +41 56 310 53 11. 

Please submit your application online by 15 February 2021 (including addresses of referees) for the position as a PhD Student (index no. 3702-00).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Silja Giacomini-Diebold, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland