Open positions


NEW: 6 months Masters project - "Computational study of SO2 oxidation at gold surfaces"



A new trend in clean energy technologies is to store energy from fluctuating renewable sources in chemical compounds. One such compound is H2, which can be generated by splitting water in an electrolyser. However, the energy required for water splitting is very high and thus costly. A potentially cheaper way to generate H2 is to oxidise sulphur dioxide (SO2) in an SO2 depolarized electrolyser (SDE). SDE promises enormous economical and environmental benefits, but the technology is still in its infancy and key mechanisms and processes need to be better understood.

In this Master's thesis we will investigate the mechanism of SO2 oxidation at a gold-catalyst surface from quantum mechanical first principles. In computer simulations (using density-functional theory) we investigate the structure, charge transfer and reaction mechanism of SO2 on the gold catalyst. Our objective is to understand the microscopic processes at the catalyst side in the SDE.

This master's thesis will be supervised by Dr. Jingru Li and Prof. Patrick Rinke in the Computational Electronic Structure Theory (CEST) group in the Department of Applied Physics at Aalto University. It is part of the Enhanced SO2 Oxidation on Catalyst/Semiconductor Interface (EnOCSI) collaboration with the Materials Processing group (Dr. Annukka Santasalo-Aarnio and Prof. Michael Gasik) in the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering.




We are always looking for new group members and collaborators. Please contact us, if you are interested. We are actively engaged in employment schemes all year round.

For postdoctoral researchers:

The Academy of Finland offers a number of fellowships for reserchers at any stage in their carees who wish to work at Finnish universities. The Academy Postdoc position offers 3-year funding for early-stage researchers (<4 years after PhD), while the Academy Research Fellow post involves a 5-year project with funding for a small research group. Aalto School of Science currently administers funding for numerous Horizon 2020 and ERC personal grants. If you have a reasearch idea that you would like to develop and carry out in the CEST group, get in touch with us!

National funding bodies worldwide offer mobility grants for international collaborations. We welcome collaborative applications for short stays in our group.

For doctoral students:

We are developing a number of original PhD projects right now: are you the right person for the job? Our doctoral students have a good track record in attracting scholarships from local foundations.

For undergraduate students:

Every spring CEST releases a list of current summer project opportunities. Spend a few months with us and taste the research life through these fully funded positions! Call ended in February 2016 included the following projects:

Page content by: communications-phys [at] aalto [dot] fi (Department of Physics) | Last updated: 08.02.2018.