PhD Position in Nucleation phenomena in Metal Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and Molecular Layer Deposition (MLD)

Updated: about 11 hours ago

PhD Position in Nucleation phenomena in Metal Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and Molecular Layer Deposition (MLD)


The topic ALD/MLD is a novel thin film deposition method with unprecedented control of film thickness at the atomic level and finds many applications in the fields of energy conversion, nanoelectronics, and packaging. This PhD project aims for an atomistic understanding and control of the ALD/MLD process and the related functionality of metal and metal-cone coatings on organic and inorganic substrates. The focus is on combined experimental and theoretical studies of surface reactions governing the nucleation process of ALD/MLD thin films determining the structure and mechanical properties of the film.

The PhD work is embedded in a joint Polish-Swiss project and the student will be working in close collaboration with a Polish team with strong expertise on synchrotron experiments and atomistic modelling.

Your Tasks include: 


  • conduct ALD/MLD of metals and metalcones using various organometallic precursors 
  • design & implementation of ALD/MLD reactors
  • thin film characterization: SEM, TEM, Raman, EDX, FIB, XRR, XRD, XRF
  • participating at synchrotron measurements 
  • modelling of growth: gas transport, nucleation 
  • tailor nucleation densities, interfaces, and materials 
  • publishing results in scientific journals and presenting at conferences

Your Profile:

We are looking for a highly motivated and cooperative student with talent and interest in experimental work. You must have a Master´s Degree preferably in Chemistry, Physics, or Materials Science and Engineering from an internationally recognized institution. Highly motivated students are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates must have the ability to think creatively, to progress work autonomously, and to filter essential scientific content from experiments. She or he must be a team player, have an excellent knowledge of the English language, German or French would be an advantage, and excellent communication skills in general.

Empa in Thun offers an ideal working environment, with state-of-the art equipment (cleanrooms, high level of materials analysis facilities, ALD/MLD/PVD infrastructure). The city is situated in a beautiful area near the mountains in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. The planned duration for receiving a PhD is four years and the enrolment will be at the EPFL doctoral programme EDMX. The tentative start date is 1st January 2022 or upon mutual agreement.


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