PhD student position in energy related materials physics
Chalmers University of Technology

PhD student position in energy related materials physics

Sweden 28 Feb 2021


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28 Feb 2021
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Do you want to perform basic research on materials for next-generation energy technologies, using the latest methods at international large-scale photon and neutron sources. Then apply for this exciting PhD student position!

Information about the project
Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites (HOIPs) exhibit light absorbing and emitting properties, due to electronic excitations, and have attracted enormous attention in the last decade, mostly due to their easy fabrication and huge promise for use in solar cells and light emitting diodes. However, a low stability towards heat and moisture are a big hindrance for using these materials in practical devices. The search for more robust HOIPs has recently shifted the focus to two-dimensional (2D) systems, but the underlying mechanisms of the electronic excitations remain unclear. The overriding aim of this PhD project is to provide a crucial contribution to this problem by unlocking new fundamental understanding of the coupling between atomic-scale structure and dynamics, and electronic excitations in 2D HOIPs. Special emphasis is laid on the investigation of local structure and dynamics by neutron scattering techniques.

Besides being of considerable fundamental interest, the achieved new materials insight will be used for developing design criteria for new, efficient HOIPs, with a view towards their application in next-generation solar cell and light emitting diode technologies.

The project is based on a collaboration between the research groups of assoc. prof. M. Karlsson, Chalmers University of Technology, and prof. Feng Gao at Linköping University. The project is part of the National Graduate School in Neutron Scattering, SwedNess, which aims at strengthening Sweden's long-term competence and competitiveness within the area of neutron science by providing its students with research training and a foundation for networking, especially in view of the new opportunities for research that will be given by the European Spallation Source in Lund ( The student will not only perform neutron scattering experiments on a regular basis, but will as well spend a longer stay (3-6 months) at a relevant neutron scattering facility. The main facilities that will be used in the project are the Institut Laue-Langevin (France), ISIS Neutron Facility (U.K.), NIST Center for Neutron Research and Spallation Neutron Source (U.S), and Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (Japan). For more information about SwedNess, please visit .

Major responsibilities
As a PhD student, you will receive a plethora of archetypical and novel 2D HOIP samples from the collaborating group at Linköping University. Key structural and dynamical properties of these samples will be investigated using an array of neutron scattering techniques, with an emphasis on advanced neutron spectroscopy methods, available at international large-scale facilities. The neutron scattering experiments will be complemented by other types of studies at Chalmers (e.g., vibrational spectroscopy, and measurements of light absorption and emission spectra) and may also include complementary investigations using instrumentation at international large-scale photon sources. The experimental data will be analyzed and the results of the research will be communicated in the form of research articles, and through presentations at national and international conferences. 

The position generally also includes teaching on Chalmers' undergraduate level or performing other duties corresponding to about 10 per cent of working hours.

Position summary
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a Master's level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in a relevant field (Physics, Chemistry, or Materials Science), or you expect to complete your MSc education at the latest in spring 2021. To be successful, you have to be highly motivated, self-propelled and have a high analytical ability.

As the student will spend a significant period of time at international large-scale facilities (several experiments a year) and attend international conferences, it is important that he/she has a very flexible approach towards traveling and working hours. The position also requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English.

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Our offer to you
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city of Gothenburg .
Read more about working at Chalmers  and our benefits  for employees.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20200631 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV:(Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter:(Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-2 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 28 February, 2021

For questions, please contact:
Assoc. Prof. Maths Karlsson, Energy and Materials,
Prof. Feng Gao,

Information about the department:
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is the largest department at Chalmers and covers a large array of research from basic to applied. The fields of interest extend from DNA-research and biomaterials, solar cells and fuels, high temperature corrosion, and catalysis. The Department is heavily committed to teaching at the undergraduate, graduate, as well as postgraduate level in these areas. We have approximately 300 employees, divided into four research and one administrative division. We are situated at campus Johanneberg in the middle of Gothenburg. Our vision is “Through curiosity and knowledge towards a sustainable world”.

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our eight Areas of Advance; Building Futures, Energy, Information & Communication Technology, Life Science, Materials Science, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!

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