PhD student in Inorganic Chemistry

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 23 Apr 2024

Ref. No. SU FV-1125-24

at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry . Closing date: 23 April 2024.

The Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK) is, with about 160 employees, one of the largest departments at the Faculty of Natural sciences at Stockholm University. A significant part of the teaching activities is at the undergraduate level with courses in General, Physical, Inorganic, and Analytical Chemistry. The teaching at the graduate level focuses on the master programs in Sustainable Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry. Research activities of MMK focus primarily on materials, and include different classes such as ceramics, glasses, self-assembled, porous materials, and soft matter. The projects often encompass synthesis, and characterization by X-ray, neutron diffraction, electron microscopy, electron crystallography, solid-state NMR, and computer modelling of materials with a potential for various applications. Research activities in the area of Analytical Chemistry focus on developing advanced analytical techniques for studies of organic compounds and biomolecules.

Project description
Project title:  Development of high-throughput electron diffraction techniques for automated phase analysis and structure determination    

Project leaders: Prof. Xiaodong Zou (main supervisor) and Dr. Gerhard Hofer (co-supervisor)  

Structure information is essential for understanding the properties and functions for all materials and molecules. Powder X-ray diffraction and single-crystal X-ray diffraction are the most commonly-used techniques for phase analysis and structure determination, but encounter challenges when analyzing multiphasic samples and nanocrystals. During the discovery of new materials, major efforts and time are often spent to optimize synthesis conditions to obtain large crystals and pure samples. Recent development of new electron crystallographic techniques can overcome these challenges and provide new opportunities for discovery of novel structures and materials. Prof. Zou’s research group has more than 35 years’ experience in developing new electron crystallographic techniques and is internationally leading in crystal structural analysis by electron crystallography. 

This recruitment is connected to the Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability (WISE, WISE, funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, is the largest-ever investment in materials science in Sweden and will encompass major efforts at Sweden’s foremost universities over the course of 10 years. The vision is a sustainable future through materials science. Read more:

All early-stage researchers recruited into the WISE program will be a part of the WISE Graduate School ( ), an ambitious nationwide program of seminars, courses, research visits, and other activities to promote a strong multi-disciplinary and international network between PhD students, postdocs, researchers and industry.

The objectives of the PhD project are to establish automation strategies and develop high-throughput serial (rotation) electron diffraction pipeline for phase analysis, orientation mapping and structure determination of inorganic, organic and protein nanocrystals. The new pipeline will be implemented on the new high-throughput analytical scanning transmission electron microscope (recently granted as part of the WISE technology platforms, ). The goal is to make electron diffraction into an automated, fast and reliable technique for materials screening and structure characterization.

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of chemistry, materials science, or a related subject is valid. You will find the general study plan at the department's website .

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.

The candidate should be interested in method development, and has excellent analytical skills and is proficient in programming. Knowledge on AI, crystallography, and/or transmission electron microscopy is an advantage. The student will be part of a large group and in close collaboration with researchers from academia and industry. She/he should have a strong collaborative and communication skill, be self-motivated and able to work as part of a team. The applicant should also have excellent skills in the English language, both written and spoken.

The candidate should have a Master or equivalent degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics or Materials Sciences. For more information see Zou’s homepage: .  

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: and regulations .

Terms of employment
Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For more information, please contact Professor Xiaodong Zou, [email protected] . For general information about the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, please contact the Head of the Department, Professor Niklas Hedin, [email protected] .

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64, [email protected] , Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/OFR), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89, [email protected] , [email protected]  (SEKO), and PhD student representative, [email protected] .

Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Project proposal/Research proposal describing:
    – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 6 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position .

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

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