PhD position in laboratory astrochemistry controlled with electromagnetic fields at the University of Basel, Switzerland

A PhD position is available with Dr Jutta Toscano at the University of Basel to investigate how molecular complexity in interstellar space emerges from the reaction of small atomic and molecular fragments. The combined use of electric fields, magnetic fields and laser light enables the precise control of the velocity and quantum state of the reacting species to understand the fundamental reaction dynamics of astrochemical processes. In this project, the effect of adding a single quantum of rotational excitation on the reaction kinetics and products will be explored.

Highly-motivated candidates who have (or will soon obtain) a Master’s degree in physical chemistry, atomic/molecular/chemical physics or a related field are encouraged to contact Dr Toscano via email ( for both informal enquiries and official applications. To apply, please send a CV, motivation letter, transcript of degree certificates and grades, as well as the contact details of at least two referees. The starting date of the project is flexible. 

Relevant publications:

  1. Toscano, H. J. Lewandowski and B. R. Heazlewood, “Cold and controlled chemical reaction dynamics”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 22, 9180 (2020)
  2. Kilaj, H. Gao, D. Rösch, U. Rivero, J. Küpper and S. Willitsch, “Observation of different reactivities of para and ortho-water towards trapped diazenylium ions”, Nat. Commun., 9, 2096 (2018)

Group website: