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PhD Positions in Inorganic Chemistry

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Functional Coordination Chemistry Laboratory (Bezdek Group) in the Chemistry and Applied Biosciences Department of ETH Zurich has fully-funded PhD positions.

Our new group will apply the approaches of inorganic/organometallic synthesis to access molecules and materials with responsive and catalytic function. The targeted chemistry spans transition metal/main group complexes, organometallics, metallopolymers and carbon nanomaterials. While synthetic inorganic/organometallic chemistry lies at the heart of our efforts and will enable the construction of new molecules, the characterization tools of spectroscopy, crystallography, electrochemistry and magnetometry will be applied to understand the structure, bonding, magnetism and thermochemical properties of the metal complexes and macromolecules synthesized. Ultimately, we are interested in leveraging fundamental insights to design tailored functional materials. In doing so, we aim to develop catalysts relevant to energy management schemes as well as new-generation stimuli-responsive materials.

Job description

The research of the doctorate positions will concern the synthesis, characterization and application of metal complexes, coordination polymers and small molecule/macromolecule hybrids. The foci are to:

  1. Design and execute new synthetic routes to coordination complexes, organometallics and metallopolymers bearing reactive functionalities and/or exhibiting unusual electronic structures and magnetic properties.
  2. Understand the electronic structures, magnetic/thermochemical properties of newly synthesized materials using a suite of spectroscopic techniques (NMR, EPR, IR, Raman, XPS, Mössbauer, MCD), crystallography (single-crystal, powder), magnetometry (SQUID) and electrochemistry. Students will also gain expertise in performing state-of-the art computational simulations to support their experimental work.
  3. Exploit the insights above to design molecules and materials with applied function. Targeted applications are multidisciplinary and include: a) Catalysis relevant to energy storage (fuel cells, redox flow batteries); b) Magneto-optic materials; c) Functionalized nanomaterials (e.g. single-walled carbon nanotubes) that respond to changes in chemical environment and/or phenomena such as electric/magnetic fields.

The PhD positions are fully funded for four years (extendable) with a competitive salary according to ETH standards. The starting date is as soon as January 1, 2022 or upon mutual agreement.

Your profile

We are looking for someone with an M.Sc. degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Materials Science or related area and a background in synthetic chemistry. Previous experience in air- and moisture-free manipulations (ie. Schlenk technique, glovebox operations) and in the characterization of metal complexes, organometallics and/or carbon nanomaterials are an advantage but not essential.

Above all, we are seeking highly motivated and enthusiastic scientists who thrive in collaborative working environments, who enjoy taking on new challenges, learning new skills, critical thinking and problem solving. You must be able to fluently communicate in English (oral and written) and be willing to work as part of a highly interactive, international and diverse team.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
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We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents: 

  • Motivation letter (1-page) providing information on relevant skills and experience, and reasons for applying for the position
  • CV, including qualifications, past academic and professional experience
  • Names and contact details of two referees

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences can be found on our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Máté Bezdek (

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

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