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PhD scholarship in in ‘X-ray and neutron scattering studies of metal oxide interlayers for photovoltaic applications’

We are an international research group working in the field of organic solar cells (SDU NanoSYD OPV), looking for a highly motivated PhD student to join our research team at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), SDU NanoSYD, Sønderborg, in the field of X-ray and neutron scattering studies of metal oxide interlayers for photovoltaic applications. The position is for a 3-year period and available starting May 1st, 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter.  

The PhD project is affiliated to the "SMART – Structure of Materials in Real Time” lighthouse consortium, which prepares for use of the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund, Sweden. A collaboration with specifically Aarhus University, LBNL Berkeley, UC Berkeley, IMEC and the Sorbonne University of Paris is envisioned. The main goal of the project is to develop stable metal oxide interlayers for organic, perovskite and silicon photovoltaics, by investigating the initiation of the degradation processes taking place in the metal oxides down to an atomic level.

The techniques in focus are synchrotron studies as well as neutron scattering investigations, alongside a range of standard thin film characterization techniques. Reactive sputtering of metal oxide thin films and their integration in photovoltaic devices will be investigated in collaboration with other researchers from the team.

The majority of your working time is devoted to your own research studies. As a PhD student you are expected to develop your own ideas and communicate scientific results in English. We offer a fully funded PhD position for the duration of 3 years.

At the Organic Photovoltaics group lead by Associate Professor Morten Madsen at SDU NanoSYD, the focus is on development of flexible photovoltaic devices with improved performance, including device stability and up-scaling. The group has access to an ISO5 cleanroom and surface science laboratory facility for the full preparation and characterization of organic solar cells, as well as a production facility for roll-to-roll development of flexible devices. The research group is partner in various national and international research projects and networks that include both university and industrial collaboration partners. Synchrotron based surface science studies of metal oxides through international collaborations are on-going in the group and will play a central role for this PhD project.

Candidates who have a master degree (equivalent to a Danish master’s degree) in a field relevant to the mentioned PhD project may seek the fellowships. Preferred candidates have experience with either thin film surface science characterization techniques, metal oxide thin films and/or photovoltaic device physics. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the work, the candidate is expected to have excellent collaboration skills. A very good capability of communicating scientific results in English, both orally and in writing is required.

Contact information
For further information please contact: Associate Professor Morten Madsen, e-mail: or Professor Horst-Günter Rubahn, e-mail:

For information about the Mads Clausen Institute, which encompasses SDU NanoSYD and the research group working in the field of organic solar cells, please see

Conditions of employment
Employment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position. Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after the PhD Committee has approved the candidate for admission to the PhD school. The enrollment and employment will cease without further notice at the end of the 3-year period. Further information about salary and conditions of employment.

Employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations.

An employed PhD fellow cannot have other paid work during the employment.

Requirements for the position
To be considered for the position it is required that the applicant meets the requirements for enrollment in the PhD school. Applications are required to have a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment. 

An assessment committee will assess all applications. Each applicant will receive his/her own assessment.

If shortlisting is used, only shortlisted applicants will be assessed by an assessment committee.

An interview might be part of the process.

Your application must be uploaded through the link “Apply Online”. Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Please read guidelines for applicants.

All pdf-files must be unlocked and allow binding and may not be password protected.

In case you have more than one file per field you need to combine the pdf-files into a single file, as each field handles only one file.

Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb.

The applications must include as enclosures:

Completed application form
• Curriculum Vitae
• Verified diplomas and transcripts of exams in Danish or English translation
The form for calculation of grade point average
• An official document describing the educational structure and the grading scheme of the awarding universities
• Verified written statement or assessment of the thesis or dissertation project given by the programmes educational institution, if the thesis is evaluated by approved/not approved
• Application stating reasons for applying. Please attach your motivated application to “application material” under “Research Plan”.
• References, you're welcome to use this form
• List of publications and examples of publications, if any

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The application must be in English.

Further information about the PhD programme and for  international applicants about entering and working in Denmark can be found at:
The SDU PhD webpages
The faculty PhD webpages
The international Staff Office at SDU
Study in Denmark
Work in Denmark

Send application
Deadline 2019-Apr-01

You can apply for the job at Faculty of Engineering by completing the application form


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