Research Assistant - Neural networks to model the photo-induced desorption dynamics of CO from Pd(111) (Closed)

Pre-doctoral position
Position category: Research Assistant
Reference: 2023/80
Duration: 1 year
Application deadline: 2023/07/31
For more info contact the supervisors:
Maite Alducin Ochoa
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

Femtosecond laser pulses in the ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared constitute an efficient tool to initiate and promote diverse adsorbate dynamical processes on surfaces, including diffusion, desorption and reactions. With large fluences (~1 mJ/cm2) incident on metal surfaces, which absorb a sizable fraction of the light at these wavelengths, the excitation of adsorbates occurs indirectly. The process is initiated with the excitation of the electronic system that is driven out of equilibrium by the laser radiation. Subsequently, the photon-excited electronic system can transfer energy directly to the adsorbate, but also indirectly via the excited surface lattice that results from electron-phonon coupling.

One of the systems that has been the object of an extensive experimental study is the laser induced desorption of CO from a the Pd (111) surface. In particular, the dependence of the desorption yield on the adsorbate coverage was measured obtaining striking results. Motivated by these experiments, the first step in this research project is to generate a multidimensional neural network potential energy surface (NN-PES) for the Pd(111) surface with varying coverages of CO. Once the NN-PES is constructed and adequately tested, the ultimate goal is to perform molecular dynamics simulations of the laser induced CO desorption in order to improve the statistics and to extend the analysis to different laser fluences and CO coverages, as well as to perform simulations of two pulse correlation experiments.

Desired background & competences

Experience with neural networks and molecular dynamics applied to study surface reactions. Knowledge in density functional theory. Background in Scientific programing (fortran, python, shell scripting)

Working conditions

  • Estimated annual gross salary: Salary is commensurate with qualifications and consistent with our pay scales
  • Target start date: 2023/09/01

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 Gas-Solid Interfaces Group at the Materials Physics Center addresses diverse aspects of the interaction of gas species and adsorbates with solid surfaces. Current research topics in the group include photo-induced reactions at surfaces, nonadiabatic effects in gas-solid reactivity and adsorbates, catalytic properties at 2D materiales, etc

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit an updated CV to the application email listed above. Reference letters and/or two contact email addresses of potential referees 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.