Exotic Surfaces

Master's project: Studying phase transitions of layered materials with helium scattering

The aim of this project is to study the surface structure of the transition-metal dichalcogenide (TMDC) TaS2 with helium atom scattering. TaS2 has a particularly rich phase diagram involving several charge-density wave (CDW) transitions driven by strong electronic correlations and electron-phonon coupling upon changes of the surface temperature. Helium scattering measurements at different sample temperatures should allow to follow the phase transitions and the changes upon the surface structure / charge density with temperature.

Compensation: € 2640

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Master's project: Setup of a gas dosing system for molecule/surface interaction studies

For studies of the adsorption of gas molecules on various material surfaces, so-called Dirac materials, the setup of a gas dosing system is necessary. Therefore, an existing experimental apparatus should be extended with a setup for the dosage of gases.
To deliver gas adsorbates onto the surface in a controlled and quantitative way, a gas-handling system with a microcapillary array beam will be designed and constructed. The master student will be responsible for design and setup of the gas dosing system with help provided by our group and should then run first adsorption tests on Dirac material surfaces.

Compensation: € 2640

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Koch group: Femtosecond dynamics

Master project: Femtosecond dynamics in isolated molecules

Many processes in molecules take place on ultrafast (femto- and picosecond) timescales. We investigate such processes in single, isolated molecules with pump-probe femtosecond laser spectroscopy and photoelectron and photoion detection. In particular, coincidence detection of electrons and ions, the novelty of our setup, provides important information about molecular fragmentation.
The aim of this master project is to apply continuously variable excitation and/or probe wavelengths for dynamics studies in acetone molecules. The master student will work in a modern laser lab and acquire a deep insight into molecular processes and dynamics. They will be trained in the following areas: ultrafast laser science, photoelectron and photoion spectroscopy, ultra high vacuum, automated data acquisition and hardware control.
Need more information? - feel free to stop by anytime at our offices (Markus Koch: PHEG092; Pascal Heim, Bernhard Thaler: PHEG050).

Compensation: 2640 €
Contact: Ass. Prof. Markus Koch

Thermophysics and Metalphysics Group

  • Elektromagnetische Levitation / Bestimmung von Dichte und Oberflächenspannung ausgewählter Metalle und Legierungen

Die Methode der Elektromagnetischen Levitation ermöglicht eine berührungsfreie Bestimmung von thermophysikalischen Eigenschaften metallischer Schmelzen. Dabei werden durch ein inhomogenes elektromagnetisches Hochfrequenzfeld Wirbelströme im Probenmaterial erzeugt, welche aufgrund der ausgeübten Lorentzkraft ein schwebendes Positionieren der Probe ermöglichen und gleichzeitig zu einem Aufheizen des Probenmaterials in die flüssige Phase führen. Die Probentemperatur wird optisch durch pyrometrische Messung bestimmt und gleichzeitig die Probengeometrie mittels zweier High-Speed-Kameras aufgezeichnet. Unter Verwendung dieser Messgrößen wird die Bestimmung von Dichte und Oberflächenspannung der Probe in Abhängigkeit der Temperatur ermöglicht.
Es besteht die Möglichkeit an diese Diplomarbeit weiterführend ein Dissertationsprojekt anzuschließen.

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Hauser Group: Modeling of catalytic reactions on mixed-metallic particles of subnanometer size

Metal clusters with diameters in the nanometer range show outstanding chemical features which differ significantly from the bulk material. Particularly interesting is the ability to catalyse selected reactions. The aim of this diploma thesis is to study the activity and selectivity of selected materials (Au, Ag, Cu, Pt, Fe, Ni) for the adsorption and follow-up dehydrogenation of short-chained alkanes with density functional theory, starting with the evaluation of basic properties such as adsorption energies and their dependence on particle structure, composition and size.

Compensation: 2640 €
Contact: Ass. Prof. Andreas Hauser

Hauser Group: Development of a neural network for metal cluster simulations

The master student will be part of a team working on NN development. He/She will be focusing on the crucial task of writing parsing scripts for the output of the selected program packages and will develop a program which translates cartesian coordinates or z-matrix geometries into so-called symmetry functions, a non-redundant input vector format for the neural network. This technically challenging part will be performed with the help of Dr. Marquetand, an experienced user and developer of NNs for chemistry applications from the University of Vienna, who offered his assistance.

Compensation: 2640 €
Contact: Ass. Prof. Andreas Hauser

Hauser Group: NN development and ab initio database for metal clusters

A Master student will join the project listed above in the second half of 2017. After getting introduced to Q-Chem and quantum chemistry methods in general, it will be his task to assist with the parsing of Q-Chem output, to perform a series of benchmark ab initio calculations on small metal clusters to provide first test sets for the training of the NN, and to collaborate with the PhD students on finalizing a first draft version of the NN.

Compensation: 2640 €
Contact: Ass. Prof. Andreas Hauser

Hauser/Ernst Groups: 2 x Catalysis on mixed-metallic subnanometer-sized particles

The helium-droplet technique is used to create our `Nano-Mozartkugeln', which are mixed-metallic clusters of Au and Cu with diameters in the nanometer range. The particles are then deposited on supports of amorphous carbon or SiO2. The results are checked by electron microscopy imaging with the help of our colleagues at the FELMI-ZFE. A newly designed reaction chamber has to tested for leaks and for the accessible temperature range given by the built-in sample heater. After that, first BET adsorption measurements of nitrogen gas are planned. Finally, a selection of materials is then placed into the reaction chamber and exposed to a He-diluted mixture of butadiene, propene and hydrogen for a series of temperature-controlled reaction measurements. Gas composition during reaction will be monitored by the quadrupole mass spectrometer attached to the chamber.

Compensation: 2640 €
Contact: Ass. Prof. Andreas Hauser

Master's Project: Assembling a cool quantum matryoshka

Our recent work is geared towards the formation of nanoparticles with core-shell structure: Onion-like particles with shells consisting of different materials. Our group has a long tradition in the preparation of nanoparticles in cold superfluid helium nanodroplets at temperatures of only 0.37 K. We are now looking for a motivated master student in order to push our approach to the next step: Adding an additional layer of molecules between a metal shell and a metal core to form particles known in literature as “quantum matryoshkas”. The special plasmonic properties of these particles, based on localized surface plasmon resonances, can locally cause a strong enhancement of electromagnetic radiation. We are planning to exploit this effect in order to perform Raman spectroscopy on the molecular matryoshka layer in-situ, while still inside the helium droplets, as well as with deposited particles.

Compensation: 2640 EUR
Contact: Florian Lackner

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Institut für Experimentalphysik
Technische Universität Graz
Petersgasse 16
8010 Graz