Postdoctoral Researcher for Realization of Novel 2D-semiconductor Based Heterojunction Photocatalysts in the ERC-Consolidator
University of Oulu Faculty of Science

Postdoctoral Researcher (3 years) for Realization of Novel 2D-semiconductor Based Heterojunction Photocatalysts in the ERC-Consolidator Grant Project CATCH

We, at the University of Oulu, work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. Our university's several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields. The university is an international scientific community, with 15,000 students and 3,000 employees. More information

Dimensionality defines the spatial extensions of matters, and photocatalysis accelerates photochemical processes in the presence of catalytic media. What will happen if photocatalysis meets the dimensional confinements that may reorganize whole photochemical process? In the ERC-Consolidator project “Cross-dimensional Activation of Two-Dimensional Semiconductors for Photocatalytic Heterojunctions” (CATCH), we are going to activate dimensionally unique 2D semiconductors as high-performance photocatalysts and break the deadlock of practical photocatalysis for sustainability of mankind.

We are now looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher (3 years) in 2D-semiconductor-based heterojunction synthesis and characterizations.

The candidate will focus on the synthesis of heterojunctional photocatalysts built on 2D semiconductor matrices. The targeted synthetic materials may be based on computational predictions or semi-empirically conceived species. The applied synthetic routes rely on wet chemistry (e.g. hydrothermal techniques), dry methods (e.g. pyrolysis or deposition), and combination of both. The photocatalysts will be refined and characterized by the candidate through various experimental techniques commonly used in materials sciences. The work will be performed as a part of an international and multidisciplinary research team dedicated both to experiment and theory. The tasks of the candidate also include publishing results in leading international scientific journals, assisting in supervision of Ph.D students, and participating in education activities and writing of funding applications.

Description of the research environment

The work is carried out in the Functional Materials Group of Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit (NANOMO, at University of Oulu. The group consists of one associate professor, four postdoctoral researcher and a Ph.D student. The group also has Business Finland Research-to-Business funding and EIT Raw Materials funding. The research of the group covers a wide domain in materials physics, with special emphasis on photocatalysis, bio-inspired surface treatment, and advanced metals.

The NANOMO research unit focuses on molecular scale materials physics and novel applications of spectroscopic and imaging techniques. The research topics include electronic structure research in nanomaterials, functional materials (e.g. steel, carbon negative materials, and nanocatalysts), biomedical research, mesoscopic quantum structures in materials, and physics didactics. The main external funding sources are the European Union ERC, Horizon2020 programs, EU EIT-RawMaterials and ERDF funds, Academy of Finland and other national and international funds. The unit coordinates Finnish national participation in the MAX IV Laboratory synchrotron radiation facility, participates in the operation of the FinEstBeAMS beamline, and contributes to the European Free Electron Laser Eu-XFEL project.

Requirements for the position

Ph.D in materials science, condensed matter physics, chemical engineering, or other relevant field. Please note that the degree must have been obtained within the last 10 years, latest by the start of the employment
Experience in photocatalysis for water purification and/or hydrogen evolution reaction
Very good proficiency in the English language (both written and spoken).
Good communication skills and the ability to work as a part of team and independently

Assessment criteria and other qualifications

The candidates will be evaluated based on their qualifications, suitability for the research topic, and potential as researchers. The following merits are seen as a strong advantage:

  • Documented knowledge in electro-(photo)catalysis, and immobilization of nanomaterials
  • Demonstrated experience in synthetic growth and characterization of (nano)crystals, data analysis and reporting
  • Documented knowledge in condensed matter physics, electronic structure of materials, microelectronics, and chemical reaction dynamics.
  • Experience in leadership and in managing a subgroup consisting of graduate and/or Ph.D students

What we offer

You will be a part of a highly talented research group supported by the European Research Council Consolidator grant.
You will receive support from your team and supervisor, so that you can excel in your research
In addition to modern research facilities, we offer you personnel benefits such as occupational healthcare and affordable sport services
A three year postdoctoral position and salary in accordance with the Finnish universities salary system (for teaching and research personnel): Postdoctoral researcher demand level is 5-6. In addition, a personal salary component based on work performance will be paid (maximum of 50% of the job-specific component). Typical salary for a postdoctoral researcher is 3300-4200 € per month (before taxes) depending on the experience of the candidate.

The position is expected to start earliest from 01.05.2021.

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant appendices, must be submitted using the electronic application form by March 1st, 2021 at 23:59 (EET). The application shall be written in English and include the following:

1) A motivation letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing the applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why the applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests and career plans should be described here.

2) Curriculum vitae (max. 4 pages) in accordance with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (see

3) List of publications based on the guidelines of the Academy of Finland (see

4) Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned copy of the original Ph.D degree certificate and, when necessary, official translations to Finnish or English. In case the degree is still in process, please give an official notification from the supervisor or faculty to address the estimated date of defense.

5) Contact information of two senior/experienced researchers who may be asked to give a statement on the candidate

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through the electronic portal will be considered.

Top candidates will be invited to an on-site or remote interview.

Further information

Research and academic issues please consult

Associate Professor Wei Cao, the PI of the project CATCH


Administrative issues please consult

Professor Marko Huttula, Head of the Unit


City of Oulu

The Oulu region is home to over 200 000 people making it the largest urban centre in northern Scandinavia and one of the fastest growing regions in Finland. Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, cleanness, vivid cultural life and modern technology. Oulu is also known for its highly-educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Find out more about Oulu:


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