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Postdoc Opening

Modeling of soap-film based membranes for artificial photosynthesis

Modeling of soap-film based membranes for artificial photosynthesis
Modeling of soap-film based membranes for artificial photosynthesis



Intro: Applications are welcome for one postdoc position at the Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics (CMSP) Group at The Abdus Salaam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) on Modeling of soap-film based membranes for artificial photosynthesis. The fellowship stems from an exciting interdisciplinary research project (Soap Film based Artificial Photosynthesis - SoFiA supported by a recently funded European H2020-FETOPEN grant). SoFiA proponents aim at introducing a radically new technology for renewable solar fuel production, relying upon the unique self-assembling property of surfactants, and proton transport in soap films. Here, it is introduced and investigated the new concept of economic artificial photosynthetic membrane in the form of stable soap film with engineered photocatalytic surfaces. The fellowship has a duration of one year, and it can be extended one year more upon a positive review of the research activities carried out during the first year.


Requested activities: The successful candidate will focus on computational and theoretical investigation of the following phenomena associated with Water/CO2 Interfaces:

  • Structure, Dynamics and Electronic Properties
  • Thermodynamics and Dynamics of H+ and OH-
  • Spectroscopy of Interfaces to help interpret Experiments.

The successful candidate will mostly perform numerical simulations of Water/CO2 Interfaces with the goal of providing a molecular-scale characterization of the underlying engineering design of the dissymmetric soap-films. In particular, verification of the dissymmetric interfacial arrangement of functional components, the timescales and reaction mechanism of inter-component charge transfer and of proton diffusion at the interface is critical for validating & understanding the functioning of the Artificial Photosynthesis membrane. The work will also involve a close collaboration with experimentalists working on SFG spectra of the Water/CO2 interface.


Requested skills: The candidate is expected to have successfully completed relevant doctoral studies in Chemistry or Physics. The candidate is expected to have significant experience in classical molecular dynamics as well as ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. Experience in using theory to predict spectroscopic properties such as IR or Raman spectra is an added bonus. We expect a strong will and attitude to collaborate and interact with experimentalists as well as with experts on atomistic simulations.


How to apply: If the above description matches your expertise and you aspire to being part of an international, truly interdisciplinary and vibrant team committed to next generation renewable energy technology, we strongly encourage you to apply for this position. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until 30 January 2019, and we will keep on with selection until the position is filled. Eligible candidates will be timely contacted for an online interview. Applications (and inquiries) must be sent to Ali Hassanali (e-mail address:, and must include:

  1. Academic CV with all relevant scientific publications and experience;
  2. 1-page motivation letter;
  3. Up to three reference letters.

E-mails must have “SoFiA Postdoc Position” as e-mail subject.


Salary: Salary shall be decided depending on the experience level with a minimum net salary starting from 25,200 Euro/year.  

(Women and other minorities are encouraged to apply)