PhD studentships for 2021/2022

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Computational Physics and Chemistry group of Professor Jochen Blumberger, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, UK.

Projects are available in the following areas:

  • Bioelectronics: Molecular simulation of gold-protein-gold junctions and calculation of their current-voltage response
  • Solar Cell Materials: Development and application of non-adiabatic molecular dynamics methods for simulation of exciton transport and dissociation at organic donor-acceptor interfaces
  • Organic Electronics: Development and application of non-adiabatic molecular dynamics methods for simulation of charge transport in covalent organic frameworks.

The projects will be carried out in close collaboration with international experimental partner laboratories and will aid the atomistic interpretation of current-voltage measurements or ultra-fast optical pump-probe experiments. Access to high performance computing facilities will be provided. Interested candidates may want to take a look at recent group publications in the field, listed on the group website.

Highly motivated students from Physics, Chemistry or Materials Science Departments are strongly encouraged to apply. Good knowledge in quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics is expected and interest in writing computer code and shell scripts is an advantage. Interested candidates are requested to send a CV and a transcript of undergraduate studies (and Master studies if applicable) to Jochen Blumberger,

Suitable applicants from the UK and EU will be considered for GRS/ORS studentships or UK Research Council Studentships.

Chinese nationals will be considered for the UCL  Dean’s Prize which will cover all tuition fees for 4 years. If successful, the candidate then applies to the Chinese Scholarship Council which covers living expenses for 4 years. Further information can be found here.

It is advised that informal enquiries should be sent to Jochen Blumberger in due course, ideally by end of November to allow enough time for preparation of application documents.

Post-doctoral Fellow in Computational Physics and Chemistry

A postdoctoral research position is available in the research group of Professor Jochen Blumberger at University College London, Department of Physics and Astronomy. The position is funded by the ERC grant “SOFTCHARGE: Charge carrier transport in Soft Matter: From Fundamentals to High Performance Materials”. Our group has recently developed an efficient non-adiabatic molecular dynamics method that has allowed us to gain unprecedented insight in the Nature of charge carriers and the transport mechanism in organic semiconductors (Nature Comm 10, 3843 (2019)). In the current project we would like to improve and extend our methodology and apply it to challenging problems in organic semiconductor research. The work can focus on any of the following topics:   

-Machine Learning of tight-binding electronic Hamiltonians for non-adiabatic dynamics
-Development of fast estimators for excited state electronic couplings 
-Development of polarizable force fields, e.g. ACKS2
-Design of new high mobility materials through conformational locking
-Impact of vacancies, line defects and grain boundaries on charge  propagation in organic crystals   
The start date is flexible but should be no later than 1. April 2021. The post is for 1 year in the first instance. 
Key Requirements:
Eligible candidates have a PhD in computational physics/chemistry or related disciplines. Highly motivated individuals who have a strong background in computer code development (fortran, C++, or python) or the quantitative modelling of organic materials are encouraged to apply. Strong interest in the simulation of charge or exciton transport phenomena in organic and biological materials is essential. Good knowledge in molecular quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and molecular simulation methods is expected. First-hand experience with non-adiabatic molecular dynamics simulation techniques (e.g. fewest switches surface hopping or Ehrenfest) is an advantage but not required.
Further Details:
Candidates will need to upload (i) a motivation statement (500 words max) briefly describing main research achievements to date and future research plans (ii) a CV (2 pages max), (iii) a full list of publications (no page limit), and (iv) the names, contact details and email addresses of two referees. A cover letter can be included using the “Statement in Support of your Application” section of the online form.
To apply for the vacancy please go to the following website 
and click on the ‘Apply Now’ button at the bottom of the page.  
If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Jim Levin, 
Informal enquiries regarding the vacancy can be made to Prof Jochen Blumberger,

Post-doctoral research

I always welcome post-doctoral researchers who consider applying for their own financial support. Please send me an email. I would be happy to discuss with you potential projects and applications. Here are a few links for personal postdoctoral fellowships:

PhD study
If you would like to do a PhD in my group and want to apply for your own studentship (e.g. in your home country) please send me an email. I would be happy to discuss with you potential projects and applications. Useful information on PhD applications to UCL can be found at the UCL postgraduate prospectus.