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Postdoc in Chemistry in focus on modeling the interaction of nanoparticles with organic molecules in aqueous ionic solutions

Type of employment: Fixed-term employment, 2 Years
Extent: 100 %
Location: Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, Gothenburg
First day of employment: By agreement
Reference number: PER 2016/695

Research and graduate education at the department of chemistry and molecular biology comprises a wide scientific field from the atomic and molecular levels all the way through cells to intact organisms. Much of the phenomena studied here impact on our natural environment and living systems. We participate in undergraduate programs in chemistry, molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, biology, and pharmacy.

Subject area

focus on modeling the interaction of nanoparticles with organic molecules in aqueous ionic solutions

Specific subject description

Chemistry with focus on using the multiscale simulations techniques to investigate the nanoparticles interactions with organic molecules

Job assignments

With support from Mistra, Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology announces a postdoc position for two years with focus on investigating metal oxide nanoparticles interaction with organic molecules in aqueous ionic solutions by using the multiscale simulations methods such as molecular dynamic (MD) or Monte Carlo (MC) simulation methods.

Nanoparticles in natural aqueous systems such as lakes, rivers and sea water can be toxic for living organisms. However, the toxicity of nanoparticles is highly related with their state in which they exist i.e., as free particles, or in form of aggregates. Nanoparticles after entering into aqueous systems or in biological media can be transformed into complex aggregated state due to changes in their surface properties (surface charge, potential) in different environments or by the adsorption of organic matter. Changes in physical state can lead to changes in the reactivity of nanoparticles, therefore it is of utmost importance to understand the basic mechanisms underlie such changes.

Transformations of nanoparticles in complex environments such as natural aqueous systems and in biological media are governed by the intricate relations of interaction forces acting on nano- as well as on meso-scales. To model the transformation in such complex systems, a multiscale modeling approach is needed. The project will be started with by modeling the surface charge and interfacial potential (zeta potential) of bare as well as coated nanoparticle in aqueous ionic solution and biological media. Corrected Debye-Hückel (CDH) theory, classical surface complexation and Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations will be used. Information gained from these investigations will further be used to model the formation of organic corona on the particle surface and aggregation in aqueous and biological media. Use of Monte Carlo (MC) simulations along with classical DLVO approach will be explored. The results of simulation will be compared with the relevant experimental data gained by other groups in a close collaboration.

Research project will be performed within Electrochemistry group. Research in electrochemistry group spans different areas. For example synthesis of metal oxide nanoparticles by electrochemical and solution based methods, studies of electrocatalytical reactions, experimental determination and modelling of the thermodynamical properties of electrolytes, investigations of particle size dependent surface and interfacial properties of nanoparticles by experimental and theoretical methods. Nanoparticles surface charge and potential at the particle solution interface play vital role in determining their reactivity, stability, aggregation and interaction with organic matter in complex electrolytes. In recent years focus has been on developing the experimental as well as theoretical methods to investigate in detail the nanoparticle solution interface. Electrochemistry group has well established international collaborations along with collaborations with other universities in Sweden and with industry.

More details on our research can be found at http://www.cmb.gu.se and soon at http://care.gu.se (site opens April 2016).


The qualifications for academic positions are given in Chapter 4, Section 3 - 4 of the Higher Education Ordinance.

To qualify as a postdoctoral fellow, the applicant must have completed a Swedish doctoral degree or must have a foreign degree corresponding to a Swedish doctoral degree.
Preference will be given to candidates who have been awarded the degree no more than three years before the application deadline and who have not held a post-doc position within the same or similar subject area at the University of Gothenburg for more than one year. Applicants with a degree obtained earlier than the stipulated three years may be preferred if special reasons exists. Special reasons in this context include, but are not limited to, leave due to illness and parental leave.


Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for academic positions are given in Chapter 4, Section 3 - 4 of the Higher Education Ordinance.

Since the project is mainly based on using theoretical tools such as molecular dynamics (MD), Monte Carlo (MC) simulations and analytical theory, the knowledge and experience in using these simulation methods is necessary. Knowledge about the surface and interfacial chemistry of nanoparticle in ionic solutions is also advantageous.

This research project will be performed in a close collaboration between different groups in Nanosaftey consortium financed by Mistra. Groups from different disciplines such as physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and social sciences are collaborating in this consortium on the problem of Nanosaftey. Therefore the successful candidate is expected to be at ease in collaborating with other researchers.

Related information

For further information please contact

Göran Hilmersson, Head of Department

Zareen Abbas, Associate Professor
786 9015


Labour union

+46 (0)31 7861137

OFR/S: Peter Brandt
+46 (0)31 7861169

SACO: Klas Eriksson
+46 (0)31 786 5793

Closing date


Appointment Procedure

Please apply online.

The application shall include:
- Cover letter with an explanation of why you apply for the position
- CV including scientific publications
- Copy of exam certificate
- Two referees (name, telephone no, relation)

Reference number should be clearly stated when sending complementary documents.

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Salary is determined on an individual basis.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

Page Manager: rekrytering@gu.se|Last update: 11/30/2016

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