Postdoctoral Research Fellowships: Defective metal oxide giant electrostrictors for a new design of polymer-supported fast adaptive optical lens

DTU Energi
mandag 03 dec 18

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Frist 31. december 2018
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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 funded by Villum to promote new and unorthodox ideas. We will work on biocompatible electrostrictive smart materials for optical-electro-mechanical systems supported on polymers.

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 Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHs). Recently, an entirely new class of electromechanically active materials have 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 concentration and structural disorder. 

The objective is to study the giant electrostriction in defective ceria as textured and non-textured films to identify the microstructural factors, which determine the optimization of giant electrostriction effect in defective metal oxides. This comprises analysis of the inner characteristics of doped ceria films and control thickness and morphology of thin films deposited on polymeric substrates.

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 functional metal oxides and their defect chemistry 
  • Piezoelectrics and/or electromechanically active materials
  • Experience in metal oxides thin films deposition
  • Knowledge in solid state-physics, chemistry and materials processing.
  • Experience in fine structure characterization methods
  • Proved writing and communication skills.
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Prof. Vincenzo Esposito ( and Dr Astri Bjørnetun Haugen (

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.


You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

The expected starting date is flexible and would be discussed directly with the successful candidate. Workplace is DTU Energy, DTU Risø Campus, Roskilde, Denmark.

Further information

For further information please contact 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 31 December 2018.

To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form. The following must be attached in English:

  • 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.