PhD position - Spin selectivity of chiral molelcules on surfaces

Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)

Jülich, Germany

Work group:

PGI-6 – Elektronische Eigenschaften



Area of research:

PHD Thesis



Job description:

The Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI) is the central platform for basic research in the field of nanoelectronics and combines cutting-edge research, technology development, and innovative device concepts. Our strong basic research in solid state physics and materials science paves ground for the discovery and use of novel electronic phenomena, methods, and materials. At the Electronic Properties Department (PGI-6), we explore the interrelations between electronic structure and physical properties such as magnetism and magnetotransport by applying various microscopy, spectroscopy, and transport characterization techniques. Systems of interest range from thin film systems and quantum wires to molecules.


Your Job:


Recent research results prove a previously unnoticed interaction between the electron spin and the handedness of chiral molecules. This interaction is manifested by the facts that (i) electrons (photoemission or conduction electrons) are spin-polarized when passing through a layer of enantiopure molecules and (ii) the adsorption of chiral molecules on ferromagnetic surfaces is enantio-selective. With the first effect, purely organic sources of spin-polarized currents can possibly be realized, which would be of great importance for molecular spintronics. The second effect promises a new and efficient process for the separation/selection of enantiomers as well as applications in chemical sensor technology. Our experimental work aims at exploiting electronic properties of individually or self-organized adsorbed chiral molecules to derive novel spintronics device functionalities and is embedded in a larger initiative with chemistry and theory groups performing adapted molecule synthesis and electronic structure calculations.Your tasks in detail:



  • Adsorption of chiral molecules on metallic magnetic and non-magnetic single-crystal surfaces under ultrahigh-vacuum (UHV) conditions

  • In-situ characterization of the adsorption geometry and properties by UHV scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS) at 4 K

  • In-situ identification of the chirality on the single-molecule level

  • In-situ investigation of the enantio-selective adsorption on different domains of a ferromagnetic substrate by STM imaging

  • In-situ investigation of the chirality-induced spin polarization on the single-molecule level by spin-polarized STM/STS

  • Presentation, communication, and publication of cutting-edge research in the international community

Your Profile:

  • Excellent University degree in physics or material science
  • Profound knowledge in solid state physics or surface science
  • Interdisciplinary and cross-topical thinking
  • Team-minded, self-reliant, and highly motivated character
  • Good written and oral communication skills in English

Our Offer:

  • At PGI, we offer a world-leading, interdisciplinary and international research environment, provided with state-of-the-art experimental equipment and versatile opportunities to grow as a curious researcher
  • A highly motivated group as well as an international and interdisciplinary working environment at one of Europe’s largest research establishments
  • Chance of participating in (international) conferences and project meetings
  • Continuous, professional support by your scientific supervisor
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. via a comprehensive further training program
  • Pay in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund)
  • Usually a contract for the duration of 3 years

Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in ist employment relations.We also welcome applications from disabled persons.


Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 2019D-225

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