PhD position in physical chemistry at the Paul Scherrer Institute/ETHZ in Switzerland

A PhD position funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation is available at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland.

The research focus of the project is on the chemical bonding of small heteronuclear molecules and clusters containing transition metal atoms. The predominantly experimental research is based on laser spectroscopy (mainly non-linear four-wave mixing and to a lesser extend laser-induced fluorescence, cavity ring-down absorption, resonant multi-photon ionization mass spectrometry) and quantum chemical investigations of the target species. The investigations are aimed to contribute to the knowledge on elementary catalytic reaction mechanisms.

Your tasks

  • Preparation of heteronuclear molecules and clusters in a molecular beam environment by applying laser-vaporization sources
  • Characterization of the source performance by fs-ionization/mass spectrometry
  • Application of four-wave mixing spectroscopy and other optical methods to investigate the target species
  • Performing ab initio computations in collaboration with a theoretical group to support the experimental findings
  • Carry out a PhD thesis on the above mentioned topics and publish the relevant results

Your profile

  • Master degree in chemistry, physics or a related field
  • Active interest in experimental research involving lasers, mass-spectrometers and vacuum technology
  • Communication skills in English and preferably some basic knowledge in German

The practical work will be carried out at the PSI but the PhD degree will be acquired at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zürich (ETHZ).

The PhD position is funded for 3 years by the Swiss National Science Foundation and can be possibly extended by one year. The gross yearly salary is around 50800 CHF.

Please apply online by visiting

For further information please contact Dr Peter Radi, phone +41 56 310 41 27

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