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Research Associate/Fellow in Electron Microscopy of Nanomaterials (Fixed term)


Location:  University Park
Salary:  £29,762 to £36,333 per annum, depending on skills and experience (minimum £33348 with relevant PhD). Salary progression beyond this scale is subject to performance
Closing Date:  Tuesday 30 May 2023
Reference:  SCI147923

We seek to appoint a postdoctoral scientist to join a multidisciplinary research team at the Nottingham Nanocarbon Group, School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham. 

This project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust grant on Taming the radicals: highly reactive species incarcerated in carbon cages. The main aim is to advance transmission electron microscopy (TEM) towards the study of chemical reactions of molecules, with a focus on endohedral fullerenes. The electron beam (e-beam) of the TEM will be utilised as both a tuneable source of energy to stimulate chemical reactions and an imaging probe filming the reactions in real time at the molecular level (ChemTEM approach). This project is set to generate a series of key radicals (•F, •OH, •H, •CH3, :CH2, •CHO) ‘packaged’ within the world’s smallest nanocontainer – the Buckminster fullerene, by breaking bonds in HF, H2O, H2, CH4 and CH2O molecules entrapped in C60 carbon cages using the e-beam. The key challenge is to detect the endohedral radical species in the fullerene, for which we will employ quantum sensing methods integrated with the platform for e-beam irradiation (Lab-on-a-Grid approach). Once existence of free radicals in C60 cage is proven by the local-probe methods (high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), quantum diamond microscopy (QDM)), and conditions (e-beam energy and flux) are optimised for Radical@C60 production at nanoscale, the method will be replicated using an electron flood gun to produce preparative quantities of these materials, followed by HPLC separation of electron-spin active fractions and isolation of Radical@C60

The Research Associate/Fellow will be responsible for imaging and analysis of structure and dynamics at the single molecule level by methods of TEM and associated spectroscopy. Materials prepared in the project will be deposited onto suitable sample platforms to control temperature and other local conditions around molecules. Electron microscopy measurements will be performed under different electron beam energies and dose rates, using the latest understanding of interactions of e-beam with molecular materials, either to establish dynamics of the molecules in their native states, or to trigger chemical reactions by e-beam impact. TEM data collected under different experimental conditions will be processed and analysed through advanced image analysis and image simulation approaches. 

This position is offered on a fixed term contract from 01 July 2023 until 31 December 2025. Hours of work are full time (36.25 hours per week). Job share arrangements may be considered. 

Requests for secondment from internal candidates will be considered on the basis that prior agreement has been sought from both your current line manager and the manager of your substantive post, if you are already undertaking a secondment role.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Andrei Khlobystov, email ANDREI.KHLOBYSTOV@NOTTINGHAM.AC.UK. Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

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Please note that applicants for this post will be considered on an equal basis, subject to the relevant permission to work in the UK as defined by the requirements set out by UK Visas & Immigration.  Please visit: for more information.

For successful international applicants, we provide financial support for your visa and the immigration health surcharge, plus an interest-free loan to help cover the cost of immigration-related expenses for any dependents accompanying you to the UK. For more information please see the our webpage on Financial support for visas and the immigration health surcharge.



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