Two Doctoral Student positions in Memristors and Neuromorphic Sensors Based on Layered Materials

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 31 Oct 2021

The North changes the world – we at the University of Oulu work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university's several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

Infotech Oulu Institute is one of the four strategic focus institutes at the University of Oulu supporting high-quality research, coordinating multidisciplinary research activities and doctoral training. Infotech’s science-based expertise meets global challenges determined in the strategy of the University of Oulu (UO) in the focus area” Digitalization and smart society” exploring how digitalization can work for everyone. The research topics include sensing and ubiquitous wireless sensor systems, wireless communication, and other novel services and systems. The research targets future information infrastructures and integrates aspects of technology adoption by complex human groups, communities, and societies.

We are now hiring

two Doctoral Students

to work on memristors and neuromorphic sensors based on layered materials.

The research group and the project

Microelectronics Research Unit (MIC, ) is an internationally recognized, high excellence and quality unit with significant scientific impact in the fields of micro and nanosystem technologies. The education and research fields are materials, devices and their implementation technologies with special emphasis on sensors, small/medium power energy harvesting and storage, and telecommunication applications including their realization with printing techniques. The research is carried out in several multidisciplinary research groups in close co-operation with top research groups in Europe, Asia and USA and global and domestic industrial partners.

Memristors are novel circuit elements, whose resistance depends on the history of currents through it. By colocating the information processing and memory functionalities, memristors can make certain computational operations faster and more energy efficient. They also bear resemblance on how information is processed in biological neurons and synapses and thus particularly promising for hardware implementations of artificial neural networks.

In this project, we will fabricate memristors using layered materials such as transition metal dichalcogenides in novel device geometries, and also explore their use in neuromorphic sensor applications. To unravel the operating mechanism and to optimize the device performance, experimental results are complemented by computational studies of the defect dynamics carried out at density-functional theory and device levels.

Open position #1 for a doctoral student in experimental materials science

The candidate will carry out experimental laboratory work related to the fabrication of memristors: synthesis of layered materials by sulfurization, characterization of the material properties of the active layer, and determination of the electrical properties of the final memristor devices. The candidate will also contribute to the research on neuromorphic sensors.

Qualification requirements

  • We expect a degree in physics, chemistry, materials science (or closely related to the topic of the call)
  • Previous experience in chemical synthesis/growth methods, working in clean-room and chemistry laboratory, materials characterization (structure, chemistry, electrical) and analysis of data
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are essential
  • You have a positive mindset and the ability to work collaboratively with people of various backgrounds

Please also see the requirements of the University of Oulu Graduate School

Open position #2 for a doctoral student in computational solid-state physics

The candidate will work on atomistic density-functional theory simulations to study defect dynamics in transition metal dichalcogenides under typical operating conditions of memristor devices. To understand their effect to the device operation and to compare to experiments, these will be complemented by kinetic Monte-Carlo simulations and possibly device level modeling.

Qualification requirements

  • We expect a degree in physics, chemistry, materials science (or closely related to the topic of the call)
  • Previous experience with atomistic simulation codes such as VASP or Quantum-Espresso is required
  • Good programming skills are considered an advantage
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are essential
  • You have a positive mindset and the ability to work collaboratively with people of various backgrounds

Please also see the requirements of the University of Oulu Graduate School

What we offer

  • We offer you a place in a highly talented and multidisciplinary research group, working to solve globally significant research problems.
  • In addition to modern research facilities, we offer you personnel benefits such as free occupational healthcare, affordable sport services and endless opportunities to develop your skills and competences.
  • Regular salary is paid 12 months per year, including paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer.
  • The successful candidate will receive also benefits provided by the Finnish government to residents, for example possibility to obtain access to the national healthcare system, tax benefits for employees with children and high-quality, affordable childcare services.


The salary of the selected doctoral student will be in accordance with the Finnish universities salary system (for teaching and research personnel): level 2-4. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50% of the job-specific component). Starting gross salary will be approx. 2400-2500 € per month (before taxes).

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by October 31st , 2021 at 23:59 (Finnish local time). The application should be written in English and include the following:

1)     A motivation letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in about this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here

2)     Curriculum vitae (max. 4 pages) in accordance with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity

3)     List of publications based on the guidelines of the Academy of Finland: [with ten most important indicated]

4)     Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned copy of the original Master's degree certificate and transcript of records and, when necessary, official translations to Finnish or English

5)     Contact information of two senior/experienced researchers who may be asked to give a statement on the candidate

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through the online recruitment system will be considered. Top candidates will be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process is completed.

Further information

The positions are fixed-term for maximum 4 years as of 1 Jan 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter and ending 31.12.2025. A trial period of 6 months is applied in the positions.

For further information, please contact Assistant Professor Hannu-Pekka Komsa

About Oulu, Finland

Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, excellent education system, and competitive economy. The Oulu region is home to over 200 000 people making it the largest urban centre in the Nordics and one of the fastest growing regions in northern Finland. Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life and modern technology. Oulu is also known for its highly-educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Living in Oulu is easy – everything is only max. 20 minutes away! Find out more about Oulu:

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