University of Basel (UB)

PhD positions in cold and controlled molecules and collisions

University of Basel

Basel, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland

Two PhD positions are available in the research group of Prof. Stefan Willitsch, University of Basel, Switzerland ( on the topic of cold and controlled molecules and molecular collisions. Both projects are highly interdisciplinary being situated at the interface between molecular physics, chemical physics and physical chemistry, involve a combination of experiment and theoretical modelling and build on cutting-edge experimental methods in the field.

The first project is concerned with investigations of ion-molecule interactions and collisions at millikelvin temperatures using a newly developed experimental setup for the simultaneous (“hybrid”) trapping of cold molecules and cold ions in a combined magnetic and radiofrequency trap. These investigations will aim at understanding the fundamental collision properties and reaction dynamics of polyatomic molecules in the millikelvin temperature regime.

The second project focusses on conformationally and quantum-state selected reactive collisions studied in a new crossed-molecular-beam experiment utilising electrostatically deflected molecular beams. These investigations will aim at understanding the role of the molecular quantum state and the molecular geometry on the dynamics and mechanism of collisions and chemical reactions of larger organic molecules. 

For further information, please refer to the group’s recent publications on these topics, e.g.,

S. Willitsch, Adv. Chem. Phys. 162 (2017), 307,

A. Kilaj et al., Nat. Commun. 9 (2018), 2096,

A. D. Dörfler et al., Nat. Commun. 10 (2019), 5429,

refer to the website of the group at or contact

Inquiries and applications should be sent to Prof. Stefan Willitsch ( Candidates should have (or soon obtain) a masters degree in physical chemistry, molecular or chemical physics or a related field. Applications should include a curriculum vitae, transcripts of degree certificates and grades, a letter of motivation and the contact details of at least two referees.

Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

PhD positions in cold and controlled molecules and collisions