PhD position on chiral recognition in molecular nanowires

Swiss Nanoscience Institute

  • Switzerland
  • ¬£Attractive
  • Academic - PhD/MSc

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The PhD School of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel offers a PhD position on “Chiral recognition in molecular nanowires from square-planar Platinum(II) complexes”.

Square-planar Pt(II) complexes have a strong tendency to aggregate and to form stacks with short metal-metal contacts between individual complexes. This can lead to extended one- dimensional structures exhibiting high electric conductance, vapochromism, and photoluminescence. Until recently, most compounds of this type were made from achiral building blocks, but recent research suggests that nanowires from chiral Pt(II) complexes give access to helical superstructures with unusual properties. In this proposed project, we plan to combine the expertise of the Sparr group in the area of axially chiral organic molecules with the knowledge of the Wenger group in coordination chemistry and spectroscopy to explore a conceptually new class of nanowires featuring Pt(II) based chiral superstructures. Their sensing properties for volatile organic compounds (VOC) and chiral recognition of atmospheric terpenes relevant to global warming will be of key interest.

For additional information, please contact one of the two PIs, Prof. Dr. Oliver S. Wenger (oliver.wenger@unibas.ch) or Prof. Dr. Christof Sparr (christof.sparr@unibas.ch), both at the Department of Chemistry, University of Basel.

To apply online before 31 December 2019 please visit:

Since 2012, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) at the University of Basel funds nanoscience research in an interdisciplinary PhD program. Graduate students from all over the world work on a diverse range of projects for example on quantum computing, spintronics, molecular electronics, graphene, quantum sensing, nanocontainers for medical applications, solar cells, single-cell proteomics, nanofluidic devices, and many more.
The SNI offers a broad interdisciplinary education with additional tailormade courses to improve personal development and skills such as scientific writing, communication, and presentation techniques. The PhD programme includes regular SNI conferences, such as the SNI Annual Event and a winter school. These introduce students to the interdisciplinary scientific community and offer ideal opportunities for scientific and personal exchange, including partners from industry.
We are looking for excellent and motivated graduate students interested in this topic and curious about other fields in the natural sciences.

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Swiss Nanoscience Institute

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