Exotic Surfaces

Master's project: Probing Topological Materials with Atom-Surface Scattering

Acquiring new experimental data using helium atom scattering from a topological insulator surface and depending on the progress also from the surface of a Weyl semimetal. Based on the individual interests of the student the focus of this project can either be on the experimental side with some first analysis of the data or using a more theoretical approach involving the comparison of experimental measurements with simulated data.

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

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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


Institut für Experimentalphysik
Technische Universität Graz
Petersgasse 16
8010 Graz