PhD Student

Pump-probe X-ray absorption spectroscopy to study intermediates of water splitting at solid-liquid interfaces

Your tasks

  • Your work will be focused on the preparation and performing time-resolved Xray absorption experiments at large scale research facilities: X-ray Free Electron Laser (SwissFEL) and synchrotron SLS, the preparation step includes the characterization of materials using laser-based pump-probe spectroscopic techniques
  • You will investigate the mechanism of (photo)electrochemical water splitting at solid-liquid interfaces, the goal is to determine the structure of intermediates on the basis of time-resolved X-ray absorption data
  • During your PhD you will interact extensively with your colleagues from the electrochemistry department of PSI regarding samples for investigations, colleagues from SLS and SwissFEL to realize complex experiments and international collaborators

Your profile

  • Completed study in physics, chemistry or closely related discipline, with some experience in time-resolved spectroscopy using lasers or in X-ray absorption spectroscopy
  • Knowledge about (photo)electrochemical water splitting is a plus
  • You have an active interest in experimental work and take the initiative for new solutions; being able to work independently in a collaborative and interdisciplinary research team
  • Good communication skills in English are required
  • You will be registered as a PhD student at ETH ( under the supervision of Prof. T. J. Schmidt

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 Dr Grigory Smolentsev , phone +41 56 310 51 73.

Please submit your application online by 30 June 2022 (including addresses of referees) for the position as a PhD Student (index no. 5004-01).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Mariusz Prus, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland