Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Lead-free metal oxides electrostrictors for the next generation of biomedical devices

DTU Energy
Friday 24 Aug 18

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Do you want to work in the field of advanced materials and be involved in high profile research project for a new disruptive technology?

There is an available postdoc fellowship in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage (DTU Energy), Technical University of Denmark (DTU) on a research project dealing with a new class of oxide electromechanically active materials. This project is part of a new large EU FET-OPEN on Biocompatible electrostrictive smart materials for future generation of medical microelectro-mechanical systems.

The project is carried out in close collaboration with Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, Lund University, Sweden and three hi-tech companies which are also involve in the project.
Research project
Materials which exhibit quadratic response to the electric field are called electrostrictors and are especially attractive as actuators in many different applications such as in microelectronics and biomedical devices. At present, the most widely used electrostrictors materials contain lead (Pb), which is highly toxic and restricted by the European Commission. Recently, an entirely new class of electromechanically active materials has been discovered: highly defective cerium oxides, i.e. ceria with a large concentration of oxygen vacancies in the crystal lattice. Such materials contain no toxic elements and have a giant electromechanical response even under moderate electric fields. Governed by a still unexplored atomistic mechanism, the main underlying phenomenon seems to be the oxygen vacancies organization.

The objective is to study the giant electrostriction in defective ceria as textured films to identify the factors, which determine the optimization of giant electrostriction effect in defective metal oxides. This comprises analysis of the inner characteristics of textured doped ceria films and its dopants and control by tuning film thickness and morphology. Defect chemistry and structural calculation on the doped material will direct the experimental activities to evaluate stress-strain conditions at the lattice. Fine structural experiment, e.g. EXAFS at synchrotron line, will also be performed.
Candidates should be highly motivated and have to hold a PhD degree (or equivalent), preferably in a physics, nanoscience, or a materials science-related discipline. In addition, the following qualifications are requested:

  • Experience with electromechanical properties characterization and design
  • Good communication skills in English
  • Being able to work independently and in a team
Candidates with the following qualifications are preferred:
  • Experience with piezoelectrics and/or electromechanically active materials
  • Defect chemistry
  • Experience with MEMS technologies
  • Knowledge in solid state-physics or chemistry
  • Experience in fine structure characterization methods
  • Proved writing and communication skills.
The assessment of the applicants will be made by the Head of section Prof. Nini Pryds ( and Prof. Vincenzo Esposito (
We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 3 years.

The expected starting date is flexible and would be discussed directly with the successful candidate. Workplace is DTU Energy, DTU Risø Campus, Roskilde, Denmark.
You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
For further information please contact Prof. Nini Pryds ( and Prof. Vincenzo Esposito (
Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.

Please submit your online application no later than 30 September 2018.

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:
  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications 
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.
DTU Energy is focusing on functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technology. Our research areas include fuel cells, electrolysis, solar cells, magnetic refrigeration, superconductivity and thermoelectrics. Additional information about the department can be found on

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.