[NMR] Three PhD or Postdoc positions in NMR relaxation and DNP-NMR of polymers and complex fluids at TU Ilmenau, Germany

Employment opportunity

Within the group of Technical Physics II (Technische Physik II), the Technische Universität Ilmenau is offering up to

Three PhD student or postdoctoral positions


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance of Polymers and Complex Fluids

Funded by the German Research Council DFG, we are continuing our research on polymer melts and solutions with an emphasis on new methods for polymer dynamics. Among other approaches, the project involves 1H and 2H relaxation dispersion investigations of isotopically diluted polymers with our two Stelar Fast Field Cycling (FFC) Relaxometers [Lozovoi et al., Macromolecules 51, 10055 (2018)]. Additional experiments will be carried out on a homebuilt Halbach magnet and commercial equipment (Bruker, Magritek). 

The second project involves application of the mentioned techniques to biomacromolecules, in particular to articular cartilage, with the aim of modelling molecular dynamics in biological tissue for which cartilage is a simple model system. Field-dependent relaxation times are well-known from medical MRI, but only empirically described in the literature; we want to establish a theoretical description of the frequency dependence as well as the width of relaxation times distributions in non-exponential signal decays [Petrov et al., Magn. Reson. Med., doi: 10.1002/mrm.27624 (2019)], and develop these findings into biomarkers for diseases such as osteoarthritis.

The third project focusses on the technical improvement or advanced application of DNP-FFC relaxometry studies. By combining DNP hardware with a FFC relaxometer, we have recently developed a novel platform to boost sensitivity and selectivity in complex fluids such as copolymers, porous media and multicomponent systems [Gizatullin et al., ChemPhysChem 18, 2347 (2017)], of which rocks and crude oil represent a naturally occurring example. Stable radicals are introduced and saturated by microwave irradiation, and subsequent magnetization transfer by either Overhauser or Solid Effect enhances the signal of nearby nuclei – including rare, insensitive and quadrupolar X nuclei – in the vicinity of the radical. Enhancement factors of several hundred have been achieved on our equipment. Depending on the skills and expertise of the candidate, the thesis can follow either a technical or an application focus.

We are seeking motivated individuals who are exploring applications of FFC and DNP-FFC within one of these projects. Requirements differ but typically involve sample preparation, modelling and potentially hardware or software development. Regular discussions and research stays with collaboration partners, mostly in Europe and USA, will be part of the project. This position requires skilled and enthusiastic persons, with an MSc degree in physics, chemistry or related disciplines, willing to work and actively participate in an international environment; a proven hands-on experience in ESR or NMR is a requirement, as are a strong background in NMR theory and programming skills.

The projects aim at obtaining a PhD level and are financed for an initial period of 3 years. The salary is according to the TV-L E13 scale of the German public sector (typically ¾ position depending on skills and experience). Under exceptional circumstances, a full salary postdoctoral position may be funded for a holder of a PhD title in one of these projects but with an initial contract period of 2 years. 

The Technische Universität Ilmenau aims to establish gender equality and strongly encourages applications by female candidates. Handicapped applicants with identical qualification will be considered with priority. Special services are available concerning all social matters. 

Please submit your application files (letter of application, complete CV, certificates, possibly references) preferably by February 28, 2019 to:

Prof. Siegfried Stapf, e-mail: siegfried.stapf@tu-ilmenau.de


Prof. Dr. Siegfried Stapf Technische Universität Ilmenau Fakultät für Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften FG Technische Physik II/Polymerphysik Postfach 100565 D-98684 Ilmenau Tel: +49 3677 69 3671 Fax: +49 3677 69 3770 


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