Research Assistant - Ab-initio study of Raman spectra of Self-Assembled Monolayers on metallic substrates (Closed)

Pre-doctoral position
Position category: Research Assistant
Reference: 2023/106
Duration: 1 year
Application deadline: 2023/11/29
For more info contact the supervisors:
Nerea Zabala
Javier Aizpurua
How to apply

We are currently accepting applications for the above mentioned position. This is a unique opportunity for highly motivated students recently graduated from the University in Physics or related fields to gain research experience in one of DIPC’s high-profile research teams.

The role

Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) play a central role in modern surface chemistry and nanotechnology, due to their great potential to build new nanoarchitectures as molecular nanoelectronic devices, sensors, catalysts, power sources etc. One of the most established techniques for studying these interfaces is Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), with recent works demonstrating its potential for imaging or even revealing single-atom dynamics.

The aim of this project is to theoretically address the Raman spectra of molecular monolayers self-assembled on Au(111) substrates using ab-initio approaches. The first step consists of determining the configurations of the molecules, using Density Functional Theory (DFT) and optimization methods such as BOSS (Bayesian Optimization Structure Search) to search for local minima of the adsorption energy landscape, taking into account both the most favorable positions and the rotational configurations of the molecules. The ultimate goal of the project is the development of a computational scheme to theoretically address the Raman spectra of complex extended molecular systems, such as 1,1’-biphenyl-4-thiol SAMs on Au(111) surface.

Desired background & competences

A background in the theory of light-matter interaction and experience in DFT calculations and high-performance scientific computing are required.

Working conditions

  • Estimated annual gross salary: Salary is commensurate with qualifications and consistent with our pay scales
  • Target start date: 2024/01/01

We provide a highly stimulating research environment, and unique professional career development opportunities.

We offer and promote a diverse and inclusive environment and welcomes applicants regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The center

DIPC is a research center whose mission is to perform and catalyze cutting-edge research in physics and related disciplines, as well as to convey scientific culture to society. Located in Donostia / San Sebastian (Basque Country, Spain), DIPC was born from a strategic alliance of both public institutions and private companies. Since 2008 DIPC is a 'Basque Excellence Research Center' (BERC) recognized by the Basque Government's Department of Education. In 2019, DIPC was also recognized as a "Severo Ochoa" Excellence Center by the Spanish Research Agency.

About the team

The project will be developped in the group of Theory of Nanophotonics at CFM-UPV/EHU

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit an updated CV and a brief statement of interest to the following application email below. 

Reference letters are welcome but not indispensable.

The reference of the specific opening to which the candidate is applying should be stated in the subject line, and the application must be received before the application deadline.

Although candidates are welcome to contact the project supervisors to know further details about the proposed research activity, please be aware that the application will be evaluated only if it is submitted directly to the email address listed below as application email.

Selection process

Applications received by the deadline will be evaluated by a Committee designed by the DIPC board on the basis of the following criteria:

  • CV of the candidate (60%)
  • Adequacy of the candidate’s scientific background to the project (20%)
  • Reference letters (10%)
  • Other: Diversity in gender, race, nationality, etc. (10%)

Evaluation results will be communicated to the candidates soon after. Positions will only be filled if qualified candidates are found.

The DIPC may revoke its decision if the candidate fails to join by the appointed time, in which case the position will be awarded to the candidate with the next highest score, provided it is above 50 (out of 100).

However, the selected candidate may keep the position if, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, the candidate duly justifies the reasons why he or she cannot join before the specified deadline, and as long as the project allows it.



The resolution of this opening has been already published. You can download it here.