PhD position on Single Quantum Dot Spectroscopy and Photocatalysis

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

A PhD position is available in the Functional Inorganic Material group (KovalenkoLab) at ETH Zurich (Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences).

Project background

A recently founded SNF project will focus on the chemical synthesis and optical properties of quantum dots. The interactions of quantum dots with diverse molecules and photocatalytically driven transformations will be investigated by observing individual quantum dots with optical spectroscopy, including luminescence experiments at a single photon level. These studies are expected to help design the quantum dot photocatalysis for converting basic organic molecules into fine chemicals.

State-of-the-art optical characterization methods including micro-photoluminescence experiments will be carried out to characterize quantum dot/organic composite optical properties, at cryogenic and room temperature by using specially designed photo(electro)chemical cells.

Job description

  • Chemical synthesis of quantum dots and thin film preparation
  • Development of an in-situ spectroscopic technique to investigate the mechanism of photocatalytic reactions at the single-particle level
  • Write peer-reviewed publications and promote the results at international conferences

Your profile

Candidates should have recently obtained a master degree in chemistry (physical chemistry), physics or engineering with outstanding grades. Candidates should have a strong interest in spectroscopy, semiconductor quantum dots and have basic knowledge of quantum properties of light. Experience in data analysis (via Matlab, Python, etc.), DFT modelling and/or high programming skills will be beneficial.

Your workplace

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

Applications including a motivation letter, a CV, 2-3 recommendation letters (preferably sent by the referees), transcripts and any other relevant documents should be sent to:

Dr. Gabriele Rainò ( and Prof. Maksym Kovalenko (

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.