Doctoral student in materials science (PA2019/4136)

Updated: 9 months ago
Deadline: 07 Jan 2020

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and 7 600 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

Research subject

Inorganic Chemistry

The subject covers third-cycle education in the areas of solid state chemistry and material chemistry. The research focuses on synthesis of new solid materials and studies of their chemical and physical properties. Since the physical properties are directly dependent on the material’s atomic order and disorder, their crystal structure is studied with X-rays and electron diffraction. Collaboration with researchers in other areas of chemistry, physics, biology and civil engineering is an important part of the third-cycle programme.

Project description
Semiconductor nanowires composed of III-V materials have enormous potential to add new functionality to electronics and optical applications. The fabrication of these structure by the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) method has been developed to a high level of control by research in Lund and elsewhere in the world. To fully understand and control the fabrication on an atomic scale, advanced analysis techniques are required.

The aim of this PhD project is to study the formation processes of III-V semiconductor nanomaterials, including VLS-grown nanowires and related structures. The research will be conducted using a customized transmission electron microscopy (TEM) system equipped with gas sources suitable for fabrication of semiconductor materials, which is used to study growth processes in real time. The candidate will use a range of TEM-based imaging and analysis techniques to understand in real time the dynamic processes governing nucleation and crystal growth in semiconductors. Particular questions to be explored may involve the processes controlling crystal phase and geometry in nanoscale structures, the role of scaling and size effects in crystal growth processes, and the engineering of defects to yield new nanomaterials.

The project will be carried out at the Centre for Analysis and Synthesis ( ), in collaboration with the Division of Solid State Physics at the Department of Physics. A research visit to another university/institute may also occur. The PhD candidate will work within a team conducting experiments using the in-situ TEM, and will be responsible for planning and conducting their own experiments, as well and analyzing and interpreting the data.

Work duties
The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties will also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements
A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Inorganic Chemistry if the applicant has:

  • at least 30 credits of relevance to the subject area, of which at least 15 credits from the second cycle and a specialised project of at least 15 second-cycle credits in the subject, or
  • an MSc in Chemical Engineering or Engineering Nanoscience

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Good knowledge of transmission electron microscopy is required, including substantial hands-on experience working with this type of instrument.
  • Knowledge of crystal growth processes. 

Assessment criteria
Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills.
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.
  • Other assessment criteria:

    • Prior coursework on advanced electron microscopy.
    • Knowledge and experience of a variety of specialized electron microscopy techniques, such as bright field and dark field imaging, secondary electron imaging, and diffraction.
    • Experience with semiconductor nanostructures (especially those grown by VLS).
    • A broad and interdisciplinary competence profile is very important, and knowledge within such areas as materials science, nanoscience, chemistry and physics will be considered a merit for the position.

    Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme. Furthermore, we are looking for a person who is curious, achievement-oriented, structured and persistent, and has problem-solving analytical skills and a good self-awareness.

    Terms of employment
    Only those who will be admitted or who are already admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

    Instructions on how to apply
    Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, copies of grade transcripts and degree certificate or equivalent, a copy of your Master thesis, and other documents you wish to be considered (contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

    You are also required to answer the job specific questions as the first step of the application process.

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