PhD position in material science: Thin film structure - property relations investigated through diffuse X-ray scattering

Updated: about 1 hour ago
Job Type: Temporary

100%, Zurich, temporary

The X-ray Platform and the Laboratory for Multifunctional Ferroic Materials of the Department of Materials are looking for candidates in a PhD project involving in-house and synchrotron X-ray experiments as well as local structure computer modeling.


Project background

Thin films are solid layers with thicknesses ranging from single atomic layers up to a few micrometers. They show scientifically and economically interesting properties that cannot be reached with bulk materi­als. Typical applications are elec­tronic or optical devices, coatings, sensors or functional surfaces, to name only a few. For a better understanding and further development of thin-film materials it is of fundamen­tal importance to get in­sight into structure-property relations down to the atomic scale. The emerging field of single-crystal diffuse scattering provides valuable information on corresponding local order phenomena such as the structure of domains and domain walls, domain sizes or local symmetry violations. However, corresponding experimental and modelling tech­niques have so far only rudimentarily been transferred from bulk material to thin film applica­tions.


Job description

The project focuses on the development of strategies for measuring and model­ling of diffuse scattering from single-crystalline thin films. Experiments include in-house and synchrotron experiments with hard and soft X-rays in reflection, transmission or grazing incident geometry. The local structure and corresponding diffuse scattering will be modelled with the three-dimensional difference pair distribution function (3D-DeltaPDF) and complementary techniques. The resulting characterization methods will have a significant im­pact on the understanding and further development of high-performance thin-film structures.


Your profile

The ideal candidate has a master degree in physics, material science or a closely related discipline and a strong interest in crystallography and X-ray diffraction methods. Aptitude for experimental work and interest in computer programming (e.g. Python, Matlab, C++) are essen­tial for the success of the project. Knowledge of solid-state physics and a strong motivation to work in an international and multidisciplinary team complete your profile.


ETH Zurich

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