Postdoc position on simulation of Cu-based nanoclusters for catalysis of the CO2 reduction reaction

There is an open postdoctoral researcher position to work with Dr. Miguel Caro and Dr. Xi Chen at Aalto University, Finland (Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation and Department of Applied Physics), on computational simulation of Cu-based nanoparticles for catalysis of the CO2 reduction reaction. This position is co-supervised by Prof. Hannes Jónsson (University of Iceland). The project focuses on developing and applying different atomistic simulation methods to study and optimize the reaction pathways leading to reduction of CO2 into more valuable compounds, such as methanol and methane.

Candidate’s background and expertise

This project aims at improving the description of the aqueous/solid interface between Cu-based catalysts and electrolyte through a combination of 1) density functional theory, 2) machine learning interatomic potentials, 3) QM/MM methodology for molecular dynamics and 4) long-time scale simulation and transition-state theory (e.g., NEB). The successful candidate is expected to be familiar with at least one of these topics. In addition, previous experience modeling electrochemical or electrocatalytical systems, metal nanoparticles or solid/water interfaces will be factored in when shortlisting candidates. A more detailed description of this position is given below. Candidates must hold a PhD or equivalent degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science or a related discipline, obtained no more than 5 years prior to the date of beginning of employment. Familiarity with Linux and high-performance computing (HPC) environments, scripting (bash and/or Python) as well as strong command of written and spoken English are a requirement. Expertise in scientific programming will be valued. We expect collaboration with computational and experimental partners during the course of the project. These include Tomi Laurila (Aalto), Gábor Csányi (Cambridge) and Albert Bartók (Warwick). Mobility exchanges to visit coPI Jónsson in Iceland (pending travel restrictions due to the COVID19 pandemic) are also possible. The position is initially for 18 months, starting as soon as possible. The starting salary for a postdoc in our department is circa 3600 EUR/mo (before tax), and the position includes the usual benefits of the National Social Security system in Finland, as well as Aalto’s occupational healthcare. The position can be extended upon mutual agreement contingent on funding availability.

The deadline for applications is September 21st 2020 at 23:59 Finnish time. To apply, fill in and submit the form below. In an effort to improve diversity at Aalto University, we encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply. If you would like to apply but are not sure whether you fulfill the requirements for the position, please feel free to contact us. For this and other informal queries about this position, or if you have trouble with the online application form, you can send an email to Miguel Caro ( and/or Xi Chen (

About Aalto University

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11000 students and a staff of more than 4000, of which 400 are professors. Our main campus is located in Espoo, Finland. Diversity is part of who we are, and we actively work to ensure our community’s diversity and inclusiveness in the future as well. This is why we warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community.

Application for this position is now closed.