We always hope to grow the team with scientists and students who share our passion for high resolution microscopy of individual molecules, preparative mass spectrometry, and instrumentation development.  Please be in touch to discuss opportunities in detail.


Postdoctoral Researchers

Postdoctoral research projects can range over the entire spectrum of our scientific portfolio.

We aim to support applicants in preparing a proposal to postgraduate research funding (e.g. ERC-Marie Curie Program, Humboldt program).

Please contact us with a short cv if you have interest in joining us as a postdoc.


DPhil (PhD) opportunities

We can offer a number of exciting projects for DPhil (PhD) studies.  

(1) Cryo-TEM imaging of mass selected proteins. (Research Page)

Cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is emerging as the dominating method for structure determination of proteins. However, the sample preparation is based on plunge freezing proteins in solution into thin ice layers, which limits contrast and scope of the sample preparation method as many proteins are not compatible with this preparation method.  We are developing and applying and alternative method of cryo-EM sample preparation, which is based on preparative mass spectrometry to prepare samples without ice directly in vacuum.

(2) Imaging biopolymers by scanning probe microscopy.

Scanning probe microscope (STM: scanning tunneling microscopy, AFM: atomic force microscopy) can resolve molecular structure at the atomic level.  We investigate molecules of complex structure and conformation adsorbed at a surface, brought there with ES-IBD.  Important goal are the sequencing of peptides and glycans as well as the atomically resolved imaging of large molecules by non-contact AFM.  

(3) Chemical reactions triggered by hyperthermal collisions of molecules and surfaces. (Research Page) 

Energy is needed to make chemical reactions proceed.  Usually this energy is supplied from thermal energy, sometimes from light or other excitations.  The collision of ions with surfaces at hyperthermal energy represents a unique way of supplying that energy. In this project we use the unique capability of Electrospray ion beam deposition to tune the collision energy in the range between 1eV and several 100eV to trigger chemical reactions which otherwise cannot be observed.  We will investigate the mechanochemical mechanism that proceeds in this type of reaction and explore its possibility to covalently modify surfaces with complex molecules. (Fast Molecular Compression by a Hyperthermal Collision Gives Bond-Selective Mechanochemistry.  Phys. Rev. Lett. 126 (5), 056001 (2021) )

(4) Development of novel electrospray ion beam deposition (ES-IBD) instrumentation

Electrospray ion beam deposition (ES-IBD) is the deposition of mass-selected molecular ion on surfaces in vacuum, whereby the energy of the molecular ion beam can be controlled.  We develop a novel instrument based on advanced ion optics, which will allow us high selectivity (mass, mobility(shape)) while also have high beam intensity and control over the ionisation process.


Further information about the current admission: Graduate open day of the Department of Chemistry


There are several routes towords funding for A DPhil position; details below. 

Department of Chemistry -  Information on the postgraduate studies program

University of Oxford - Information on DPhil in Chemistry 

University of Oxford: Doctoral Training Centres


Part II / Master thesis

We offer several Part II positions every year.  Please be in touch to inquire for project details or a lab visit. 

The options lecture Molecular Surface Science offers an ideal preparation.



Stephan Rauschenbach

group leader and PI

email: stephan.rauschenbach[at]

Tel: +44(0)1865-2 72620

Office: CRL ground floor office 6

Short Bio

Since 2017      Prof. of Physical Chemistry, University of Oxford
                        Tutorial Fellow of Wadham College.
2007-2017      Group leader, Electrospray Ion Beam Deposition Lab, Department 
                        Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart.
2007                Dr. sc. (PhD) in Physics, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
2004 –2007     PhD student, Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research
1997-2003       Study of Physics at the University of Augsburg, ETH Zürich, TU München  


Paul Fremdling (PhD)

Paul has joined our group in February 2018 as a doctoral student. Trained as an analytical chemist in an integrated French-German program at the Université de Strasbourg and the Technische Universtät Dresden, he is now developing new preparative Mass Spectrometry instrumentation focused on high-efficieny ion transfer from source to sample.

email: paul.fremdling[at]

Paul Fremdling vor einer roten Lokomotive


Tim Esser (Postdoc)

Tim Esser During his doctoral studies at the University of Leipzig, Tim planned, built and characterized a novel cryogenic mass spectrometer for spectroscopy of single nanoparticles to explore size dependence of optical and chemical properties. He joined the group in 2019 and is now working on an interface between (native) preparative mass spectrometry and cryo electron microscopy.
email: tim.esser[at]



Part II students

Jovana Pepic,  Michael Freeman,  Thomas Auckland




Joseph Gault (Postdoc 2018-2020) 

Mark Agasid (Postdoc 2021)

Ikhlaas Pokun  (Part-II student, 2018/19)  

Dhiren De Silva  (Part-II student, 2019/20)

Samuel Britton  (Part-II student, 2019/20)

Alex Butler (Part-II student, 2020/21)

Alex Eacott (Part-II student, 2020/21)


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