Scattering analysis of supramolecular nanoparticle formation through electrostatic self-assembly (Erlangen, Germany + Grenoble, France)

Versatile architectures and functions in natural systems are realized through self-assembled, supramolecular nanostructures. It is thus highly desirable to develop new concepts for self-assembly, in particular for a targeted structural design and to exploit the large potential in applications ranging from medicine to nanoelectronics. To do this, it is essential to under-stand structure formation.

The goal of this project is to elucidate the structure formation mechanisms in the electrostatic self-assembly of macroions and organic counterions, a new concept for the formation of nanoscale assemblies with various shapes, functionality and responsiveness. The project will include establishing a suitable model system and designing a measuring cell for time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) experiments. The central point will be to follow time-dependent size and shape evolutions on the nanoscale. Complementary studies using static and dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy (AFM),  spectroscopy and thermodynamic investigations will also be part of the project.

The PhD project will be carried out at the University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen (Germany), Interdisciplinary Center for Molecular Materials (ICMM), Group of Prof. Dr. Franziska Gröhn, and at the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), Grenoble (France), The Large Scale Structures Group, with Dr. Ralf Schweins. The student will be part of the PhD program at the University Erlangen and the ILL PhD program. He/she will mostly be based in Grenoble making regular visits to Erlangen and will write his/her PhD thesis at the University Erlangen under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Franziska Gröhn.

Applicants should have a diploma or master’s degree in physics, chemistry or a related field and be interested in interdisciplinary research involving preparative and analytical tasks. A background in scattering techniques, soft matter, nanoscience, physical chemistry of macromolecules, and/or mathematical and programming skills would be advantageous. Very good English skills are required.

For further information, please contact:
Prof. Dr. Franziska Gröhn (, or
Dr. Ralf Schweins (

Applications: Please email one PDF file to either one of the two supervisors, in English, before September 5, 2011.

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