PhD Position: Synthesis and Optical Spectroscopy of Organic Solar Fuel Materials

Job Offer from August 27, 2019

The Department of Molecular Electronics at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research has an open position for a PhD student to study develop and characterize materials for solar fuel production.

Photocatalytic systems hold great promise for creating renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources. These materials take inspiration from natural photosynthesis, wherein light absorption leads to a cascade of excitation energy transfer and charge-separation events, finally resulting in water-splitting as well as chemical bond formation. Recently, organic systems based on conjugated polymers have been shown as promising candidates for solar fuel production (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 8316.)

In this project, the student will synthesize novel materials based on doped covalent triazine networks, and characterize the photocatalytic activity. The photoexcited dynamics will be characterize with time-resolved optical spectroscopy. This position provides the opportunity to conduct research in an interdisciplinary field, at the interface of chemistry, physics, and materials research.


  1. Masters degree in chemistry/materials science.
  2. Interest/experience in synthetic chemistry
  3. Interest/experience in photochemistry

The position will be primarily advised by Dr. Charusheela Ramanan (Molecular Electronics), in close cooperation with Dr. Kai Zhang (Physical Chemistry of Polymers).

The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPIP) in Mainz offers an international, collegial, and highly interdisciplinary environment with possibilities for collaboration and career development. The salary and contract for this position are commensurate with the Max Planck Society Regulations for PhD students.

Application materials consisting of

  1. Motivation letter (1 page max)
  2. CV + transcript
  3. Names and contact information for two references

should be sent to Dr. Charusheela Ramanan at with the subject line: “Ph.D. Application Solar Fuels”.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


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