PhD Position: Chiral Recognition in Molecular Nanowires from Square- Planar Platinum(II) Complexes (P1908)

100% positions for 4 years, earliest starting date: 1. January 2020

The Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) at the University of Basel invites highly motivated scientists to apply for the SNI PhD program in Nanoscience.

Your position

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 onedimensional 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.

Your profile

We are looking for a very motivated researcher with a Master's degree in Natural Sciences. The project also requires the abilities to work independently, interact with other researchers, presentation skills, and a solid basis in scientific research.

We offer you

  • Excellent scientific and social environment
  • Very competitive employment conditions
  • Membership in a very supportive and recognised community

The successful candidate will join an attractive interdisciplinary PhD programme together with the ~30 currently supported scientists. The SNI covers a wide variety of topics, including cutting edge quantum physics and chemistry, material science, nanotechnology, biochemistry, cell biology, or medical research.

Application / Contact

More information and the online application platform can be found at For questions please contact the head of the SNI PhD programme, Dr. Andreas Baumgartner (, or directly the respective project leaders. The complete application has to be submitted before 31 December 2019. Please note that the decision to fill a given vacancy can be taken at any time from now.