PhD position Smart Hysteretic Piezoelectric Actuators – Piezoelectric Material

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 24 Oct 2022


Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage currently more than 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and the top 100 universities in the world (see our ranking:

), the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

A PhD position is available in the Discrete Technology & Production Automation group at the Engineering and Technology institute Groningen (ENTEG), Faculty of Science and Engineering. For more information about ENTEG please use the following link:

Job description

Topic of research: Smart Hysteretic Piezoelectric actuator for set and forget wafer table

Piezoelectric actuators have been used extensively in high-tech systems due to their particular material properties allowing them to be deployed for high-precision engineering systems. Piezoelectric actuators are widely used in a broad range of application areas such as biomedical, aerospace, energy harvesting, etc. In most applications that use standard PZT material, a constant electric field is applied to the piezoelectric actuators in order to reach the desired displacement/material deformation. This actuation principle has introduced design challenges when a high-density and high-precision actuation array are required, such as, in high-precision deformable surface applications. The aim of this project is the synthesis of highly hysteretic piezoelectric materials and their implementation into the fabrication of set and forget wafer table to compensate quasi-static edge roll-off error. The research will be done in close collaboration with ASML, Physik Instrumente and the Zernike Institute of Advanced Materials. The successful candidate will work in a multidisciplinary research environment where engineering and materials science are to be combined to improve the development of highly efficient and reliable piezoelectric systems.

We are looking for a talented, curious, enthusiastic, and motivated candidate for a four-year PhD position. As a PhD candidate, you are committed to conduct independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international publications and conferences, and to assist in the supervision of research projects for both bachelor and master students.


Candidates should have a MSc degree with expertise/background in Chemistry, Materials Science or related fields. We would particularly welcome applications from candidates with background in chemistry, engineering materials, chemical engineering, MEMS/NEMS devices. Relevant experience in the synthesis of piezoelectric materials and/or fabrication of piezoelectric devices will be a clear advantage.

The successful candidate is expected to have an excellent academic record and should be able to work in a multidisciplinary environment in close cooperation with other experts. Excellent communication skills and good command of English (oral and written) are also required.

Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month in the fourth and final year
  • a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
  • a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
  • an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
  • minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment.

The position requires residence in Groningen and must result in a PhD thesis within the 4-year contract period. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering. The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected.


For information you can contact:

dr. Mónica Acuautla,

Prof. dr. ir. Bayu Jayawardhana, +31503637156

(please do not use the email addresses above for applications)

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