Postdoc in Electron Microscopy to Understand Self-assembly of Soft Matter at the Molecular Level

tirsdag 22 mar 22

Send ansøgning

Frist 31. maj 2022
Du kan søge om jobbet ved DTU Nanolab ved at udfylde den efterfølgende ansøgningsformular.

Ansøg online

The newly established group “Nano-Micro-Macro. Structure in Materials” at DTU Nanolab is seeking a post-doctoral research scientist to study the (self-)assembly and functionalization of soft matter nanostructures by means of state-of-the-art electron microscopy.

We strive at developing and applying concepts for characterizing structures, mainly focusing on cutting-edge atomic-resolution electron microscopy (EM), micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS), and theoretical modelling. The interdisciplinary efforts aim at relating the (atomic-scale) structure, dynamics and functions of materials under operational conditions to develop a fundamental understanding of process-structure-property relationships. The focus here is on biotechnology.

Ideas and concepts developed in this project will advance our fundamental understanding of how structurally complex systems and hierarchical functional materials form in a bottom-up approach, from proteins and pharmaceuticals to nanocomposites. This project supports the ongoing efforts at DTU Nanolab to expand research activities in soft matter characterization and nanofabrication. The position and further activities are fully funded by a Starting Grant of the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF, DK).

Responsibilities and tasks
In nature, countless structures are formed through (self-)organization of preformed building blocks. In contrast, bottom-up assembly of synthetic materials with predefined structures and properties still seems challenging. For example, mesostructured materials with well-defined properties can be designed through multiscale assembly, combining self-assembly of predefined building blocks (e.g. molecules) with a subsequent organization and functionalization.


Our endeavor will enhance our understanding of mechanisms to ‘grow’ functional nanomaterials and develop tailored synthesis routes for pre-designed functionalities. However, numerous challenges still need to be overcome.

Your overall focus will be to strengthen our efforts to ‘visualize’ dynamics in soft matter with single molecule resolution under realistic conditions, by means of (in-situ) electron microscope.

You will work and collaborate closely with nearby colleagues, and with academic partners in Denmark as well as abroad, all working at the technological and methodological edge of modern electron microscopy to advance materials science.

The project might also involve (extended) stays at external EM sites for supplementary experimental work using equipment and techniques that are currently not yet available at DTU. The project requires you to be open to spend research stays in other labs and the self-dependency to acquire and transfer methodological expertise from one research site to another. Therefore, it is suited for someone who has a deep interest in method implementation, is willing to work independently, and has the flexibility to work at multiple research sites. With your work you will help to establish an important methodological branch in our group.

Your primary tasks will be to:

  • Develop a mechanistic understanding of self-assembly processes of functional structures;
  • Develop concepts to ‘visualize’ molecular building blocks;
  • Develop concepts to observe individual building blocks in self-assembly processes;
  • Develop protocols to mitigate probe-induced side reactions;
  • Develop data-driven concepts and workflows;
  • Develop new project ideas, grant proposals as well as new course material;
  • Develop & supervise student projects at all levels.

Qualifications
As a postdoctoral researcher, you will have the opportunity to work on an interesting and challenging project that will profit from your enthusiasm, creativity, and willingness to implement new methodologies.

We are specifically looking for someone with significant experience in state-of-the-art transmission electron microscopy (STEM/TEM). A strong background in scientific programming and deep knowledge of soft matter and materials synthesis will be advantageous.

  • PhD in chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, materials science, or a related field.
  • Prior experience in electron microscopy, sample preparation, data acquisition and analysis are required. Prior exposure to in-situ EM and MEMS technology is a strong plus.
  • A strong background in soft matter synthesis and functionalization is desired.
  • Self-motivation as well as strong team player and networking skills are required.
  • You should have an interest in supporting the supervision of BSc, MSc, and doctoral students.
  • Publications in high-quality journals and presentations at international conferences.
  • Ability to manage a research project; to properly report, organize and publish research data.

The candidate should also have demonstrated outstanding problem-solving skills as well as very good communication skills in both spoken and written English.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 3 years. 
Starting date is 1 August 2022 (or according to mutual agreement).

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Joerg Jinschek, email: jojin@dtu.dk


You can read more about DTU Nanolab at www.nanolab.dtu.dk/english.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at
DTU – Moving to Denmark.


Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 31 May 2022 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • Research Vision Statement (<1 page) of how you would approach the stated scientific goal
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD – in English)
  • List of publications

Applications can be reviewed before the deadline on an ongoing basis, however applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Nanolab's state of the art facilities, including the theoretical and practical expertise of our dedicated staff of around 80 researchers and technicians, provide a unique opportunity for a successful project. DTU Nanolab runs one of the most advanced university owned open access nanofabrication cleanrooms as well as a powerful and complementary suite of transmission and scanning electron microscopes. We conduct research in fabrication technologies and characterization methods, including novel materials and technology-near applications.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.