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PhD candidate (m/f/d) – Design of thin-film functional materials using in-situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction

About the position

This project aims to use advanced in-situ techniques to engineer multifunctional quantum materials at the nanoscale for emergent thin-film technologies. Within this project, you will join our team working on thin-film epitaxy combined with in-situ x-ray characterization. Your work will be centered at the epitaxy platform of the PDI-run PHARAO beamline at the synchrotron BESSY II in Berlin Adlershof (part of Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin for Materials and Energy). You will additionally perform further thin-film characterization at PDI in Berlin Mitte. The PHARAO experiment enables in-situ x-ray diffraction using synchrotron radiation during thin-film synthesis. It hence offers unique insights into the epitaxial materials design in terms of both understanding and tuning of thin-film properties. Taking advantage of this ability to probe an evolving crystalline structure in real time, you will explore fundamental thickness limits, dimensional cross-over effects and interface phenomena in functional epitaxial thin films and ultimately engineer novel quantum phases in the thin-film geometry.

Your responsibilities

  • Epitaxial thin-film synthesis of functional materials by molecular beam epitaxy, with an initial focus on complex oxides.
  • In-situ x-ray diffraction to determine structural evolution during growth.
  • Post-deposition determination of structure--property relations in single layers and heterostructures.
  • Work in close collaboration with beamline scientists, technical staff and other experts within the PDI community.
  • Dissemination of results in scientific journals and at international conferences.

Your profile

  • Master’s degree in Physics, Materials Science, or related field
  • Proficiency in condensed matter physics
  • Previous experience with thin-film synthesis and/or characterization is a plus
  • You are eager to learn and will bring your curiosity and ideas into our highly motivated team of researchers and technicians
  • Fluency in English (written and spoken) is required

This full-time-position is limited to a 3-year period initially, with the goal of submitting a doctoral thesis to either the Humboldt University or the Technical University of Berlin. Salary and benefits are according to the Treaty for German public service (TVöD Bund) to a level of E13 at 66%.

What we offer

  • Exciting multidisciplinary work in an international team of researchers
  • Supportive environment with experts for various scientific subfields and a low number of students per advisor
  • International and culturally diverse community
  • Awareness for work-life balance
  • Modern office located in the heart of Berlin with excellent public transport connections and a subsidized travel ticket
  • Possibility to participate in professional development program

How to apply 

Please send your application as a PDF to Even Pruefer (he/him) at recruiting@pdi-berlin.de by September 20, 2023 with “PHARAO” in the subject line. Your application should include the following documents: Letter of Motivation (including past experience and future research interests), CV, copy of degree certificates and transcripts, as well as contact details for two references. Even will also answer all your admin-related questions. 

For questions about the project, please contact Dr. Johanna Nordlander (she/her) at nordlander@pdi-berlin.de