PhD Position "Energy conversion in strongly correlated materials"PhD - Individual Supervisor

Updated: 9 months ago
Location: Gottingen, NIEDERSACHSEN
Deadline: 24 Jun 2023


The position is available starting September 1, 2023 and is initially limited to three years (Salary group 13 TV-L, 67 %, currently 26,67 h/week).

Our goal: Although the use of renewable energies by photovoltaics, thermoelectrics or electrochemical energy storage is a success story, the efficiencies of current devices are well below the theoretically possible limits. Our goal is to develop a fundamental understanding of how strong correlation effects in oxides affects energy conversion processes and how these correlation effects can offer new paths to highly-efficient photon to electric power conversion.

The challenge: Strong correlation effects in oxides, i.e., the interplay of the spin-, lattice- and charge degrees of freedom give rise to complex electronic phase diagrams including long-range ordering of charges and/or orbitals. In such systems, the well-established single particle models based on the population of rigid bands fail. The coupling of electronic excitations to the long-range ordering, e.g. a cooperative lattice dynamics, can significantly increase the lifetime of excitations and therefore result in new mechanisms of hot carrier photovoltaics.

Our experimental pillars: Our experimental work bases on four central pillars:

  • Preparation of high-quality epitaxial grown oxide thin films, mainly by means of sputter techniques.
  • Detailed characterization of the thin-film samples with respect to crystal structure (XRD techniques), surface quality (SEM-, AFM techniques), chemical composition in bulk and at the surface (EDX, XPS) and optical properties (reflection, transmission).
  • Detailed understanding of surfaces, interfaces and bulk properties by means of high-resolution and analytical transmission electron microscopy techniques including EELS and holography in an environmental TEM system.
  • In-depth investigation of electric transport and photovoltaic properties of thin film junctions, using a dedicated setup that allow for spectrally resolved, time resolved and temperature dependent analysis.

Scientific task: You will work in a team of young highly motivated researchers and develop an improved understanding of complex oxides as energy materials. Your scientific work will be imbedded in a very interdisciplinary environment. You will collaborate with scientists and experts from different faculties and fields. Depending on your research interest, your PhD project will focus on one or several of the following tasks: High quality epitaxy of new strongly correlated hot carrier materials, in depth analysis of photovoltaic performance of correlated junctions, the study of phase transitions in the electronic order and their impact on the photovoltaic effect or the properties of space charge layers for hot carrier separation using advanced holographic TEM studies. An individual research project will be jointly defined after your successful application.

Your profile: You have completed your scientific university studies with a master’s degree in the field of physics or materials science, with above-average grades. Ideally, you have good knowledge on oxide materials and experiences on our experimental pillars. We expect an independent and responsible way of working as well as a high degree of team spirit and enjoyment of cooperative collaboration.

The successful candidate is expected to participate in the project meetings and closely interact with the other PhD students or experienced scientists in the program. You are expected to present your work at national and international conferences and to publish in peer-reviewed international journals. Further, a very good knowledge in writing and speaking English is required.

Our offer: We work on topical highly relevant issues to contribute with a basic research to a scientific revolution in clean energy systems. We offer you the opportunity to actively shape change! We support you in your work by:

  • A highly motivated working group as well as an international and interdisciplinary working environment in one of the largest research institutions in Europe.
  • Excellent scientific and technical infrastructure
  • The opportunity to participate in (international) conferences and project meetings
  • Continuous professional support by your scientific supervisor
  • The possibility of (location-) flexible working
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. through an extensive training program; a structured program with further training and networking opportunities especially for PhD students.

For more information about our working group see

The University of Göttingen is an equal opportunity employer and places particular emphasis on fostering career opportunities for women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply in fields in which they are underrepresented. The university has committed itself to being a family-friendly institution and supports their employees in balancing work and family life. The University aims to employ a greater number of severely disabled persons. Applications from severely disabled persons with equivalent qualifications will be given preference.

Please send your application in one PDF (CV, Master’s degree, half-page research statement, contact addresses of two references) in electronic form by June 24, 2023  to: [email protected] .

For further information about the scientific aspects of this position, please contact Prof. Dr. Christian Jooss (Telephone: +49551 39-25303, E-Mail: [email protected] ).

Please note: With submission of your application, you accept the processing of your applicant data in terms of data-protection law. Further information on the legal basis and data usage is provided in the Information General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) .

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