Ice particles in clouds influence the dynamics and radiative balance of the atmosphere. Despite the importance of ice, many details of the mechanism of ice formation, i.e. ice nucleation, have remained elusive. Understanding nucleation requires molecular-level understanding of the interaction between water molecules and atmospheric particles that can serve as ice nuclei. We have previously shown that laser-based second order nonlinear optical spectroscopy is a highly sensitive tool to study water arrangement at surfaces and interfaces.
The devision of Atmospheric Aerosol Research (Project: Atmospheric Surface Science) in KIT in cooperation with the Department for Molecular Spectroscopy of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research seeks an outstanding, highly motivated PhD student to investigate water and ice next to atmospheric relevant mineral surface under atmospheric conditions using nonlinear optical spectroscopy. You will use second harmonic generation (SHG) and sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopies to probe and address interactions at surfaces and interface on the molecular level. Candidates (m/f) with an excellent Master/Diploma degree in physical chemistry, chemistry or related subjects are strongly encouraged to apply.
The aim of the project is to study the effect of the chemical and physical surface properties, e.g. roughness, cracks, functional groups... etc, on the ice nucleation process in model systems that are directly relevant for processes in the atmosphere. Supercooled water in contact with specific surfaces will be studied with interface-selective SHG and SFG to probe water molecules on ice nuclei and follow the phase transformations under supersaturation conditions. Other surface characterization techniques (e.g. AFM) will be used to study the surfaces.
The work will be supervised by Dr. Ahmed Abdelmonem (email@example.com) from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Prof. Dr. Mischa Bonn (firstname.lastname@example.org) from the Max Plank Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P, Mainz). If you are interested in joining our highly motivated team to perform cutting-edge research in a stimulating international working environment, please send a letter of motivation (max 1 page), diplomas and CV (incl. publication list, names of min. two references) to Dr. Ahmed Abdelmonem. Applications will be considered until the position is filled; the estimated project duration is 36 months.