PhD position in Physics/Materials Science/X-ray spectroscopy

Lunds universitet
June 29 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

During recent years the Division of Synchrotron Radiation Research ( has been among the fastest growing parts of the Department of Physics and has now more than 40 employees. The main focus of the research are experimental studies of electronic, structural, and chemical properties of materials, especially of surfaces, interfaces, nanomaterials, free molecules, and clusters. At the division, which closely collaborates with the MAX IV Laboratory ( we use and develop a wide range of synchrotron- and laboratory-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.

Job assignment

The PhD student will use synchrotron-based measurement techniques to perform real-time investigations of atomic layer deposition (ALD). Today, ALD is one of the most important methods for the controlled and precise deposition of ultrathin layers on solid substrates in the micro- and nanotechnology domain. It has rapidly increasing importance also in other areas of materials fabrication such as solar cells and catalyst materials. Very little is known about the fundamental processes at the atomic and molecular scale that take place during ALD. The PhD student will make use of modern spectroscopy methods in order to develop a thorough understanding of such processes. The main tool will be synchrotron-based ambient pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (APXPS). Also other high-resolution spectroscopy and microscopy techniques will come into play. Much of the experimental work will be carried out at the HIPPIE and SPECIES beamlines of the MAX IV Laboratory in Lund, but experiments will also be performed at other laboratories around the world, such as the synchrotron light sources SOLEIL in France, Diamond in the United Kingdom and/or the Advanced Light Source in California. Yet other experiments will be carried out in the Division's laboratories for scanning probe microscopy, the Lund Nano Lab and further laboratories.

The PhD student will work in a multidisciplinary fashion, in which collaboration with both experimentalists and theoreticians is a corner stone of the scientific work. We foresee close collaboration with, among others, the MAX IV Laboratory, NanoLund, Theoretical Chemistry in Lund, and the ALD and spectroscopy groups in Helsinki.

We offer you the opportunity of a broad postgraduate education in a highly stimulating environment. You will have a focus on large-scale research facility-based analysis methods, but you will also have the opportunity to develop skills using other experimental methods and to collaborate with chemists and theoreticians. We expect you to be highly motivated to contribute to the scientific progress in the project. You are a hands-on person and feel comfortable with working both in the lab and with demanding data analysis and interpretation.

The main task for the doctoral student will be to conduct research education which includes work with research but also to master graduate courses.

Entry requirements

A formal requirement for doctoral studies in physics is:

a university degree on advanced level within a related field, such as a Master's degree in physics or equivalent (e.g. materials science or chemistry), orsubstantial advanced course work at the Master level, or comparable, including an independent research project.Furthermore, the acceptance is based on the estimated ability to accomplish postgraduate studies.

Other requirements:

Good knowledge in spoken and written English is a requirement.

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 postgraduate studies within the research area, such as a broad and thorough preparation in the natural sciences. This can be documented by appended documents.Estimated ability to work independently and the ability to formulate and solve scientific questions. This ability can be established, for example, based on undergraduate research experiences, a Master's thesis or in a discussion of scientific problems during a possible interview.Skills in written and oral communication.Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.Other assessment criteria:

Experience of work with ultrahigh vacuum, x-ray spectroscopy and/or atomic layer deposition are considered an advantage. We consider good cooperation ability, drive and independent work ability as positive personal attributes.

Terms of employment

A PhD position is an employment with the main duty to be engaged in PhD studies according to the study plan. The duration of PhD studies is 4 years full time studies. In addition, those appointed to doctoral student position may be required to work with educational tasks, research and technical/administrative duties at a level of at most 20% of full time. The position is then extended correspondingly, however not longer than corresponding to 5 years full time employment. PhD positions are subject to special regulations. These can be found in the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (SFS 1993:100, ch. 5, with updates). Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to PhD position.

Application procedure

Apply online! Applications must contain a covering letter in which applicants describe themselves and their particular research interests. Applications must also include a CV, a copy of the applicant's Master's thesis (or a summary text if the thesis is not yet completed), contact details of at least two references, copies of grade certificates, and any other documents that the applicant wishes to refer to.


The English version of this announcement is an interpretation of national formalities expressed in the Swedish text. In case of uncertainties, the Swedish text applies.


- Joachim Schnadt, Professor, +46 46 222 39 25,

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