Engineering and Technology: Aerospace and Aeronautical
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Ref. R66698) College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Living Systems Institute This full-time post is available immediately on a fixed term basis until October 31st 2023. Starting salary will be £35,845 up to £46,718 on Grade F, depending on qualifications and experience.
The College wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to support the work of Professor Frank Vollmer. The project will develop chemistry and chemical control at the nanoscale for single molecule sensing
Owing to their small size (normally in the range of 1 – 100 nm), nanoparticles exhibit unique physico-chemical properties, which are different from those of bulk materials, and that can be used to construct novel and improved sensing devices; in particular, optical sensors and biosensors. Only recently, nanoparticle based optical sensors have been developed that are now capable of detecting even single small molecules and their reactions, see reference below. The application of those single-molecule surface-plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors opens up a range of interesting fundamental studies and applications. For example, the next generation of bioanalytical devices will be based on ‘smart’ SPR nanoparticles to analyse biological and environmental samples at the single molecule level. For more information visit www.vollmerlab.com
We are interested in:
Developing nanoparticle-based single molecule sensors by controlling synthesis and surface chemistry of the nanoparticles. Our goal is to synthesize nanoparticles with specific chemical and optical properties. Examples for this are nanoparticles that respond to light at a certain wavelength and that catalyse chemical reactions. The nanoparticle chemistry combined with single-molecule sensitivity of the nanoparticle sensors gives us an eye into the nanoworld. Our laboratory uses this ‘eye’ to observe chemistry and chemical reactions not accessible with traditional analytical chemistry tools. With our single-molecule nanoparticle sensors we are able to understand mechanisms of catalysis. We can control chemical reactions with light. We explore surface-based reactions and their mechanisms, especially those that have been obfuscated by the use of traditional analysis techniques.
You will synthesise complex nanoparticles and develop nanoparticle chemistries to tailor the capabilities of our SPR single-molecule sensing devices. You will develop synthetic strategies to control nanoparticle size, shape and composition. You will develop surface chemistries to modify the nanoparticle surface. You will then apply the nanoparticles as sensors to explore catalysis, surface chemistry, electrochemistry and biochemistry, all at the single-molecule level. Your nanoparticles will provide you with an ‘eye’ into the nanoworld to explore the nanochemistry of various molecules. You will study various reactions and their mechanisms which all have high relevance in Nature and technology. At the single-molecule level, you will study reaction mechanisms.
What we are looking for:
Experience with chemical manipulation of molecules on surfaces, surface chemistry, (bio-) conjugation techniques, characterisation of molecules on surfaces, colloidal nanoparticle synthesis is essential. Familiarity with electrochemistry, molecular electronics, molecular machines, single-molecule methodologies, and photochemistry is desirable.
Duties are to undertake research and fulfil other main duties and accountabilities associated with the position. You will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies.
Applicants will possess a PhD in Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Physics, Engineering or a related discipline and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes. The successful applicant will be a nationally recognised authority in chemistry, surface chemistry, molecular machines, molecular electronics, or single-molecules and will be able to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required.
The successful candidate will be appointed as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Grade F) depending on the skills and experience the individual can bring to the role. Candidates should demonstrate their achievement against the relevant criteria in the accompanying person specifications which will be used to make an appointment at an appropriate level.
Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification attached above.
What we can offer you
Freedom (and the support) to pursue your intellectual interests and to work creatively across disciplines to produce internationally exciting research;
Support teams that understand the University wide research and teaching goals and partner with our academics accordingly
An Innovation, Impact and Business directorate that works closely with our academics providing specialist support for external engagement and development
Our Exeter Academic initiative supporting high performing academics to achieve their potential and develop their career
A beautiful campus set in the heart of stunning Devon
Internal Number: 522460
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