PhD position in Physics: Synchrotron X-ray based studies of materials and processes in the metals and production industry (PA2021/434)

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 21 Mar 2021

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.


The Division of Synchrotron Radiation Research (www.sljus.lu.se ) is a part of the Physics Department, with about 50 employees. The main focus of the research is experimental studies of electronic, structural, and chemical properties of materials. We use and develop a wide range of synchrotron and lab based techniques, such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy/imaging and X-ray diffraction/imaging. We also host Sweden's largest facility for scanning probe microscopy (www.sljus.lu.se/spm ).

MAX IV (www.maxiv.lu.se ) is a national large-scale research laboratory hosted by Lund University and situated within biking distance from the Department of Physics. It provides scientists from Sweden and the rest of the world with the most brilliant Synchrotron radiation source and instrumentation for research in areas such as materials science and nanotechnology.

Sustainable Production Initiative, SPI, (www.lu.se/forskning/starka-forskningsmiljoer/strategiska-forskningsomraden/spi ) is a collaboration between Lund University and Chalmers over research on manufacturing systems and technology. The research is broad and includes everything from manufacturing technology to economics. The goal is to carry out scientific studies and implement the results for a competitive and sustainable manufacturing sector.

NanoLund (www.nano.lu.se ) is the Centre for Nanoscience at Lund University. NanoLund is today Sweden’s largest research environment for nanoscience, engaging approximately 270 PhD students and scientists in the Faculties of Engineering, Science, and Medicine. It operates Lund Nano Lab, a state-of-the-art cleanroom for the synthesis, processing, and characterization of nanostructures.

Work duties

In this project you will study technologically relevant metal structures and processes related to industrial manufacturing processes using newly established synchrotron based X-ray methods. A focus will be on the structure, chemistry and morphology of metal samples from atomic to macroscopic scales. We will study samples after they have been processed under industrial conditions as well as during manufacturing or processing conditions. The aim is to obtain a significantly improved fundamental understanding of industrial processes related to metals and help produce better and more sustainable fabrication methods. 

Within this project, you will use and develop synchrotron based X-ray imaging, spectroscopy and scattering techniques to study metals and metal alloys under vacuum conditions or in controlled liquids or atmospheres. Other microscopy techniques, both scanning probe microscopy and electron microscopy will be used. An important point will be the computational analysis of the measured data to retrieve all relevant information. 

Experiments will be performed at the MAX IV Laboratory in Lund, as well as at other international synchrotron and may also include neutron based characterization related to ESS. Finally, experiments will include the use of a variety of other widely used nanoscience characterization and fabrication techniques.

The work will be performed both at Department of Physics and Department of Mechanical Engineering at Lund University. Several companies in the metals and manufacturing industry will also be involved in the work. Participation in several PhD schools (e.g. on nanoscience or advanced microscopy) is offered. The project is supported by a major grant from the Swedish Research Council.

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 can 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 he or she:

  • 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 Physics if he or she has:

  • passed an independent project (e.g.degree project) of at least 30 credits in a relevant subject

Equivalent knowledge acquired through corresponding programmes will be assessed individually. In order to enable interdisciplinary initiatives and important specialisations in certain areas, students with qualifications in subjects other than Physics may be considered for admission.

Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the programme.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Other assessment criteria

  • Experience in working at synchrotron radiation facilities is important.
  • Experience in advanced image analysis or other types of data analysis including programming in for example Python is highly relevant.
  • The ability for skilful laboratory work is important, including advanced microscopy and ultrahigh vacuum technology.
  • Experience in the scientific interaction with researchers from other disciplines and from other countries is considered as valuable.

Basis of assessment

Selection to postgraduate studies is based on the expected ability to perform well in the studies. The evaluation of the ability to perform well is based primarily on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of the study.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.
  • 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.

    Terms of employment

    Only those 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 may 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, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).


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