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PhD position in experimental condensed matter physics: Natural and nature inspired systems as nano-layered materials beyond graphene

The PhD position is available at the Department of Physics, NTNU. The appointment has duration of 3 years with the eventual possibility of until 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the Department. The position is financed by NTNU.

Information about the Department

Currently, there are 27 professors, 10 associate professors, 7 adjunct professors, 70 PhD research fellows and 24 postdoctoral researchers appointed at the Department of Physics. Further information is available at: http://www.ntnu.no/fysikk/english. The research spans a broad spectrum of natural sciences and technology, which in turn allows offering an education that provides a solid basis for future careers. Physics research is carried out in experimental as well as theoretical fields, and often through external collaborations across conventional boundaries between disciplines. The department’s central research areas are biophysics, nanoscience, surface physics, optics, astrophysics, solar energy, materials science, soft matter science, and medical technology. Research staff at the Department makes a special effort to increase the awareness and understanding of the importance and impact of physics in society.

Job description

The available position is for a PhD student to work The Laboratory for Soft and Complex Matter Studies (http://folk.ntnu.no/fossumj/lab). The PhD candidate’s activities will be jointly with two postdocs that are working within two associated projects and the work will be at the interface between experimental physics, chemical engineering, materials science and nano-micro-technology.

The PhD project will develop and investigate experimental model systems made from manually assembled or self-assembled hetero-structures of natural based or nature inspired materials. The activities include important collaborations with several other highly-regarded universities, and the project has access to NTNU state-of-the-art instrument parks, and may therein involve the use of NTNU-Nanolab.

The activities will focus on developing, characterizing and understanding natural materials based and/or nature inspired nano-micro-structures, for the purpose of developing systems or surfaces with desired functionalities, such as colors, wetting properties, environmentally materials etc. Specifically the current PhD candidate will investigate and optimize clay-based nanostructure systems, such as clay-polymer/cellulose composites or clay based hetero structures for electromagnetic applications. The work will also involve designing and using appropriate experimental model systems and sample environments including the use of electric or magnetic fields for structural control. The development phase may include the use of soft matter physics tools and methods such as microfluidics and other methods for drop or emulsions studies such as spin-coating, or electro-spinning, rheometry, etc. Nano-structural characterizations and functionality optimization will be performed at our NTNU X-ray laboratory, international neutron facilities, such as IFE or ILL, at international synchrotron X-ray facilities such as ESRF or MaxIVLab, or with other external collaborators. For this purpose we will also employ microscopy techniques such as AFM and SEM.

Detailed information on the NTNU Physics PhD programs is found at: https://www.ntnu.edu/nv/phd


The applicant should hold an MSc (or equivalent) in physics, nanotechnology, materials science, or another relevant field. The position requires a strong interest in developing experimental skills needed for studies of soft matter phenomena.

Experience from nano-structural characterization methods, e.g. SAXS, SANS, AFM and SEM, from the use of nano-lithography techniques, or the use of other types of advanced scientific equipment may be considered an advantage. Also there is an advantage if the applicant has experience with or courses in soft or condensed matter physics, related experimental methods and materials science. It is considered an advantage if the applicant has programming skills in Matlab, and interest in learning and practicing real time control software such as Labview.

The successful candidate should be creative, with a strong ability to work goal-oriented, as well as possess good skills to deliver oral and written presentations of research results. He/she should also enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams, which is of particular importance in this collaborative project.

The regulations for entry in the PhD programs at NTNU requires a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies. An average grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best) for the two last years of the MSc is required.

Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree: http://ec.europa.eu/education/tools/diploma-supplement_en.htm

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language.

Terms of employment

The appointment of the PhD fellows will be made according to Norwegian guidelines for universities and university colleges and to the general regulations regarding university employees. Applicants must agree to participate in organized doctoral study programs within the period of the appointment and have to be qualified for the PhD-study.

NTNU’s personnel policy objective is that the staff must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent.

The position as PhD is remunerated according to the Norwegian State salary scale. There is a 2% deduction for superannuation contribution.

Further information can be obtained from professor Jon Otto Fossum, Department of Physics, NTNU, email: jon.fossum@ntnu.no

The application

Applications with CV, certificates from both Bachelor and Master, possible publications and other scientific works, copies of transcripts, (copies of documentation on English language proficiency test) and reference letters should be submitted.

Applications must be submitted electronically through this site.
Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered.

The reference number of the position is: NV-98/17

Application deadline: 01.09.2017

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  • Søknadsfrist
    1. september 2017
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