Research Fellow in Computational Modelling of Nanocluster Dynamics and Formation by Magnetron Sputtering

University of Nottingham Department of Chemistry

United Kingdom

Research Fellow in Computational Modelling of Nanocluster Dynamics and Formation by Magnetron Sputtering (fixed term)

Closing Date
Tuesday, 1st June 2021
Job Type
£30942 to £40322 per annum (pro-rata if applicable) depending on skills and experience. Salary progression beyond this scale is subject to performance.

Metal Atoms on Surfaces and Interfaces (MASI) is a large-scale multidisciplinary project led by four UK universities (Nottingham, Cardiff, Cambridge, and Birmingham) simultaneously addressing two grand challenges: sustainable use of metals and low-carbon technologies. The project is motivated by natural (limited resource of critical metals) and anthropogenic (overpopulation, global warming) threats rapidly beginning to impact society. The multidisciplinary holistic research methodology of MASI will stimulate innovation across different sectors and accelerate the translation of fundamental discoveries for clean technologies, thus realising the Productive Nation, Resilient Nation and Healthy Nation EPSRC ambitions.  

The project, funded by the EPSRC Programme Grant for a period of five years, consists of four interconnected Themes addressing the fundamental aspects of metal nanocluster formation (A), metal-support interactions (B), imaging and analysis of nanocatalysts in action (C), and harnessing their catalytic properties in key reactions, including CO2 valorisation, and ammonia synthesis (D).

We seek to appoint a computational chemist with a broad range of experience in Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations who will join the multidisciplinary MASI team. The Research Fellow will be appointed for two years to develop computational approaches to modelling metal nanocluster formation in magnetron sputtering processes. In this process, a beam of accelerated ions collides with a high purity metal target, which expels metal atoms from the target into the gas phase followed by landing onto a support material. The theoretical modelling is required to provide description of irradiation of metal target with the ion beam, vapour dynamics and in-flight metal atoms collisions, as well as computational models of metal atom and cluster deposition onto the support material. The Research Fellow will become part of the Computational Materials Science group, led by Prof. Elena Besley (

PhD in Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering, or related field; knowledge of the concepts of classical molecular dynamics and kinetic Monte Carlo simulations; experience in the application of numerical techniques to complex dynamics problems are essential.

This is a full-time (36.25h per week), fixed-term appointment of 2 years available from 02 August 2021. Job share arrangements may be considered. 

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Prof. Elena Besley, e-mail: Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

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