A Doctoral position in catalysis and photocatalysis is available at the Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Nolan to work on first principles simulations in the design of new photocatalyst materials for CO2activation. The project is SuSChem Using theory-driven design to tailor novel nanocomposite oxides for solar fuel production. 

This project is funded under the Science Foundation Ireland US-Ireland R & D Partnership Program, in collaboration with University of Ulster and Northwestern University. This project aims to design, synthesise and deploy new photocatalysts for activation and reduction of CO2 using thermal catalysis and photocatalysis.

Tyndall’s role in the project is to:

  • undertake first principles DFT simulations of new photocatalysts based on TiO2 modified with nanoscale metal oxide clusters and
  • evaluate the potential of these new compositions for visible light absorption, charge separation and the ability to activate CO2.

This will involve large scale DFT simulations using DFT codes to develop new photocatalysts with visible light absorption, and study the fundamental reactions involved in CO2 activation and reduction on these new materials. The most suitable materials designed in the simulations will be passed to the experimental partners for synthesis and characterization with feedback between experiment and simulation. Extensive travel between project partners will be required as will constant interaction with the partners.

Qualifications: Candidates with at least a 2.1 Bachelors degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Physics or Materials Science and, ideally, experience in modelling of metal oxides, are invited to apply for this position, which commences on September 1st 2014.

Location: The successful candidate will be based at Tyndall and will enrol in the Chemistry department in University College Cork on a structured PhD program in which students undertake a range of technical and non-technical courses to enhance their general skills in addition to the research on their PhD topic.



  • 2.1 Bachelors degree or higher (or equivalent) in Chemistry/Materials Science/ Physics.
  • Experience in first principles simulations of metal oxides and reaction mechanisms desirable.
  • A good understanding of solid state and materials chemistry is desirable

For further information, please contact michael.nolan@tyndall.ie.

Please apply via http://www.tyndall.ie/career/search, selecting reference number MN-3 and following the instructions to complete the associated application form, attaching your cv and motivation letter and list of publications.

Reference number:  MN-3
Position: PhD Student in Simulation of Photocatalyst Materials
Functional area: Chemistry
Contact name: Michael Nolan, michael.nolan@tyndall.ie,

Apply now