Postdoc Self-Propelled Particles to Optimize Catalysis (1,0 FTE); Within the recently awarded NWO Gravity Project: Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion (MCEC) we are looking for a two year postdoc at Utrecht University (UU) for the projects “Self-Propelled Particles to Optimize Catalysis”.

Details: In this project we want to create a model self-propelled or active colloidal system that can be studied quantitatively with fast STED confocal microscopy in 3D even for concentrated systems. Active colloidal particles are a new direction in colloid science where systems (far) out of equilibrium are studied. Moreover, we want to investigate with such systems if the activity of the colloidal particles can be used to improve catalysis, e.g. by improving transport (most probably also focusing on the F-T process).


We are looking for candidates with the following requirements:

–              PhD in chemistry, physics or materials science /(PhD in colloid science, SA);

–              Experience in (transmission) electron microscopy and/or colloid self-assembly is a plus;

–              Excellent writing and oral communication skills in English;

–              Excellent collaboration skills (with other scientists and technicians in the larger program).

The candidate is offered a full-time position for one year, which will be extended by another year upon positive evaluation. Conditions are based on the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities. The gross salary is in the range between € 2.977,- and maximum € 3.908,- per month.

Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues. The Faculty of Science consists of six departments: Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Information and Computing Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Mathematics. The Faculty is home to 3500 students and nearly 2000 staff and is internationally renowned for the quality of its research. The Faculty’s academic programmes reflect developments in today’s society. The Soft Condensed Matter (SCM) group of the Faculty of Science at Utrecht University is part of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science. The focus of the group is the study of the self-assembly behavior of colloids in external fields, such as electric, shear flow, gravity, and (structured) walls, and this fundamental knowledge is used in the design of functional smart materials. The group designs and studies colloids in the interdisciplinary context of chemistry and physics, and uses a range of experimental methods (such as light/X-ray scattering, real space analysis using confocal microscopy, optical characterization, scanning and transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy) as well as computer simulations.

For further information contact Prof. Dr. Alfons van Blaaderen, Project supervisior, E-mail:, phone number: 030 – 253 2204.

To apply please click the button below and attach a letter with motivation, extended curriculum vitae, and (email) addresses of two references, digital copy of PhD Thesis. Application deadline is: September 1st, 2015.