Prof. Dr. Ellen Backus
Prof. Dr. Ellen Backus
Phone:+49 6131 379-536

PhD position: The molecular scale of switchable wetting Doktorandenstelle: Die molekulare Ebene schaltbarer Benetzung

Job Offer from August 09, 2019

Wetting phenomena are omnipresent in for example dishwashing, printing, rain drops on a window or liquid transport through pores. Different applications prefer different wetting properties. Intermolecular interfacial interactions co-determine macroscopic wetting properties, yet insights into wetting at the molecular level have been lacking. In this project we will use photoswitchable surfaces to switch the wetting properties and follow the molecules response of water in real-time. The structure of water and the organic coating at the interface will be thus investigated before, during, and after photoswitching using sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy. Due to its selection rules, SFG probes specifically the interfacial layers and does not see the bulk water. In this project we aim to obtain unprecedented insights into wetting phenomena at a molecular level.

We are looking for a physical chemist with laser or spectroscopy experience or a physicist. The project will start in Mainz and will move to Vienna mid-2020.

Intended starting date: October 1st, 2019

Please send your application including a motivation letter (max. 1 page), a CV (including the names of at least two references), and transcript (grade report) of your BSc and MSc degree by e-mail to

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