Post-doctoral Researchers

Real-time study of the dynamics of light-induced motion in water of ionic polymers-based micro pumps and nanomotors (MSCA Expression of interest)


Brief description of the Centre/Research Group:

The Force Probe Microscopy & Surface Nanoengineering (FPM&SN) Group is devoted to the investigation at the fundamental level and to the exploitation of interfacial phenomena arising from the nanostructuration of surfaces. The activity can be summarized under the term knowledge-based functionality, with special emphasis in how advanced characterization tools can contribute to the understanding of interfacial phenomena of interest to applications.

Project description:

Controlling the motion of fluids at interfaces is a key issue for the development of autonomous micro/nanomotors and for the transport or self-assembly of matter at surfaces guided by fluid forces. One disruptive way to trigger and self-sustain motion at interfaces is by harvesting energy from local physical or chemical gradients. In particular, the generation of motion powered by chemical reactions or ion gradients is a very exciting topic that has captured a remarkable growing interest in particular in environmental remediation and nanobiomedicine [DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b15855]. In this context, the main objective of the proposed research is to develop autonomous micro/nanomotors using ionic polymers whose running power will be harvested from local self-generated physicochemical gradients at the motor/water interface and whose movement will be controlled by sunlight.  This study, within the European Nanoscience Foundries for Fine Analysis (NFFA-EUROPE) EU project, will do extensive use of in operando advanced experimental techniques such as grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) using synchrotron radiation. Nowadays GISAXS is one of the most suitable methods to characterize large areas in real-time processing with time resolution in the ms range. The project will be developed in collaboration with staff of the NCD-SWEET beamline at the ALBA synchrotron and at different European storage rings (ELETTRA, ESRF and DESY).


All applications must be sent to Jordi Fraxedas ( and include the following:

  • A full CV including contact details.
  • Motivation letter.
  • 2 recommendation letters.

Deadline for applications: 30th June 2018