Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för kemi - Ångström

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 46.000 students, 7.300 employees and a turnover of SEK 7.3 billion.

The Department of Chemistry - Ångström conducts research and education in the chemistry field. The department has more than 200 employees and has a turnover of 200 million SEK. At the department's six programs, we conduct very successful research of a high international standard. We have a large number of externally funded research projects, often with international cooperation and we see continued good growth in our subject area. The department has education assignments in engineering and civil engineering programs and master's programs. More information is available on our website.

Subject description/research project: Organic photoredox catalysis is probably the fastest growing area of research in Organic Chemistry, with high relevance for both the academic and industrial sector. In general, organic photoredox catalysis embraces the photochemical production of oxidants or reductants to initiate and drive organic redox reactions by the action of light. At present, the most frequently used light absorbers, also termed photocatalysts, are rather traditional transition metal complexes or organic pigments that have been known for many decades. We argue that certain approaches that are fundamentally different from these traditional means to initiate the photochemical reactions are available today, the exploration of which has the potential to open up new avenues in the field of organic photoredox catalysis. More specifically, we will explore the use of plasmonics in synthetic organic chemistry. The proposed photosystems are superior to the traditional photocatalysts in that they render sacrificial agents redundant, offer prolonged lifetimes of the photo-produced oxidants/reductants, provide larger driving forces to promote thermodynamically demanding reactions, and run with higher quantum efficiencies. To attain this, novel gold plasmonic nano-hybrid architecture based on the pioneering work carried out in Prof. Jacinto Sá research group will be developed. The photo-system photocatalytic abilities will be tested via ultrafast spectroscopy studies that provide information on the photo-system capacity of converting light into charge carriers and their dynamics. The project nature is highly exploratory but potentially disruptive because it can offer a radical new way of producing vital organic compounds that we rely on.

The hosting research group conducts fundamental studies of plasmonic structures for the solar application, namely artificial photosynthesis and solar cells. This project will be focused on the development of novel gold plasmonic nano-hybrid architecture as light absorbers, aimed at photo-redox organic synthesis. The project is centred on the fundamental understanding of light absorbing and charge carrier formation on plasmonic but there are also on aspects related to photocatalysis. The project involves experimental work using ultrafast and synchrotron spectroscopy, materials synthesis and testing. For more information, please contact the group leader Prof. Jacinto Sá (jacinto.sa@kemi.uu.se).

Work duties: The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

The doctoral student must be able to design, plan and execute the experimental work, critically analyze and discuss the results, and present their work orally at scientific conferences and written in the form of papers in peer-reviewed journals. The doctoral student must participate in all the mandatory group activities (as example: laboratory cleaning; safety training; instrumentation training and group meetings) as well as the activities related to the Physical Chemistry program and the Department of Chemistry-Ångström (as example: participation in seminars, guest lectures and the Consortium of Artificial Photosynthesis meetings; fire and other mandatory safety trainings; journal club; annual PhD conference; outreach and science popularization activities such as SciFest; non-academic activities such as student representation at departmental board). The doctoral student must also complete a minimum of 40 course credits. 

Admission requirements: A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.


  • degree or equivalent as above in Chemistry, Physics and/or Materials, with a strong component on physical chemistry/chemical physics and materials
  • very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme. 

Additional requirements:

  • Knowledge about sustainability and renewable energy.
  • Knowledge in the synthesis of metallic nanoparticles
  • Knowledge of photo- and/or electro-catalysis
  • Knowledge of electrochemistry methods
  • Basic knowledge about ultrafast and steady-state spectroscopy (optical and X-ray)

Terms of employment: The rules about PhD students are found in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5 §§1-7 and the university's rules and guidelines.

Application procedure: The application should include a statement of research interest, CV, certificates of exams, degrees and grades, a copy of Master thesis, published article or relevant materials, if available. Also, contact information of at least two reference persons should be included.

Salary: According to local agreement (Local collective agreement for doctoral students and students).

Starting date: 2020-06-01 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position for four years

Scope of employment: 100%

For further information about the position, please contact: Prof. Jacinto Sá (jacinto.sa@kemi.uu.se).

You are welcome to submit your application no later than 2020-04-22, UFV-PA 2020/1066.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Salary Fixed salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2020/1066
Union representative
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 25.Mar.2020
Last application date 22.Apr.2020 11:59 PM CET

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