Doctoral student in Physics

Updated: 22 days ago

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The Faculty of Health, Science and Technology invites applications for a doctoral studentship in physics, in the research area material physics, more specifically in the field of organic photovoltaics and molecular semiconductor materials. The research performed by the PhD student will strengthen the ongoing Knut and Alice Wallenberg-funded research programme “Mastering Morphology for Solution-borne Electronics” ( ) in which research groups from Karlstad University, Chalmers, Lund University, and Linköping University collaborate.

Current research activities in materials physics at Karlstad University include studies of surface structures, nanomaterials, solar cell materials, and molecular semiconductors. The research on molecular materials for polymer solar cells aims at achieving a better understanding of the relations between processing, morphology, performance and stability in polymer solar cells. These fundamental insights will contribute to efficient organic solar cells with long operational lifetime. The research has been recognized through research grants from the Swedish Research Council, Swedish Energy Council, the Göran Gustafsson Foundation, and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

A PhD student position is 4 or 5 years, which the doctoral student is expected to devote mostly to doctoral studies, consisting of 240 higher education credits, including the doctoral thesis. Departmental duties, such as teaching, or other tasks, may be allocated.

The main goal of the PhD project is to predict and control the structures that are formed in thin films of semiconducting polymer blends during drying of multicomponent solutions and optimize them for their use in polymer solar cells. To reach this goal we will develop and use methods to follow the dynamics of structure formation in-situ, to determine local film composition and structure, and to investigate the underlying mechanisms.

The main duties involve experimental work and modelling at the nanoscale. For the structural characterisation of solution-prepared thin films, advanced high-resolution microscopy and spectroscopy techniques will be used. The methods are available in the research laboratories at Karlstad university, and include scanning probe microscopy, electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and photoelectron spectroscopy. Of particular relevance for this project will be the extensive use of our recently acquired AFM-IR setup. Periods of measurements at synchrotron radiation facilities, in Sweden (MAX IV) and abroad, can occur a few times per year. Also neutron-based techniques may be used in the project.  Preparation and electrical characterisation of photovoltaics devices will be carried out in our well-equipped solar cell laboratory by using current-voltage measurements and photocurrent spectroscopy. The PhD candidate will interact with our collaborators and is expected to participate in and present results at research conferences.

For admission to doctoral studies applicants must meet the requirements of both general and special eligibility (Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 7 sect. 35).

Applicants who have a Master's degree of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 credits at Master level, or who have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad, meet the general eligibility requirements.

Special eligibility for admission to doctoral studies in Physics requires applicants to have completed a Master’s degree with a Major in Physics, with a specialisation in relevant area for PhD studies in Physics. Also eligible is a person who holds a Master’s degree, with at least 60 ECTS credits in a relevant area for PhD studies in Physics.

Admission and assessment criteria
For admission to doctoral studies an applicant must be judged to have the ability required to pursue the programme successfully (Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 7, sect. 35). Admission is based on individual assessment.

Assessment is based on the following criteria: All applicants must have a very good command of English. Desirable qualifications that can be a special weight in the assessment are: successfully completed Master’s project in Physics or in Engineering Physics, successfully completed relevant courses at university level in condensed matter physics, molecular physics, and physical chemistry. Personal qualities, such as a positive attitude, good interpersonal skills, ability to collaborate, and excellent written and oral communication skills, will be given considerable weight in the assessment. Weight will also be given to practical experience in relevant microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, as well as knowledge of modelling and simulations of materials.

Terms of employment
Upon admission to doctoral studies, a studentship position will be offered (Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 5, sect.3). The position is a full-time, fixed-term employment (one year that can be extended by two years at the most at a time) with starting-date by agreement.

Further information
Karlstad University places great value on the enriching presence of diverse backgrounds and gender balance in the organisation.  We welcome applicants with different cultural backgrounds, gender identities, functional abilities and life experiences.

Application should include well documented qualifications. Applicants are responsible for submitting a complete application in accordance with the advertisement before deadline and for ensuring that the documentation allows for objective and qualitative assessments. An incomplete application may jeopardise a fair assessment of qualifications. Give two references, of which at least one is a former or present supervisor, or equivalent.

Application should include
- Letter of application with description of your background and your interest in the position,
- List of qualifications (CV),
- Degree certificate with transcripts of courses completed, or a certified list of completed courses with grades and dates,
- Copy of a Master thesis (one or two years) or equivalent,
- Copies of publications or certificate of other qualifications, if applicable,
- Letter of recommendation, if possible.

Submit the application via the University’s web-based recruitment tool, Varbi, and attach all the documents and publications you wish to be considered to the electronic application (do not provide links to them). Name each uploaded document to clearly indicate its content.

Documents that cannot be submitted electronically should be sent to:
Karlstads universitet
Fakulteten för hälsa, natur och teknikvetenskap
Åsa Ivansson

Ellen Moons, professor, [email protected], 054-700 19 03

Last day of application: 20-02-01

State the ref. no: REK 2019/110.

We look forward to your application!

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