PhD scholarship in High-resolution transmission electron microscopy of catalytic nanoparticle surfaces

Thursday 25 Jul 19

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Apply no later than 15 September 2019
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The Characterization Section at DTU Nanolab is seeking an outstanding candidate for a position as PhD student. The main focus of the characterization section is to advance the field of electron microscopy applied to both hard and soft matter. This involves the application of state-of-the-art aberration corrected transmission electron microscopies and scanning electron microscopies in conjunction with in situ approaches to study materials under conditions approaching those under which they operate.


The student will be part of a research project in collaboration with DTU Physics on developing deep learning methods for automated and quantitative analysis of atomic-resolution electron microscopy images acquired both conventionally as well as in situ.


Responsibilities and tasks

You will be responsible for electron microscopy characterization at high resolution of relevant catalyst samples. Most work will be done in a gaseous environment at elevated temperatures where reaction products can be measured using online mass spectroscopy. The aim is to understand the responses of catalytically active surfaces to changes in the environment and to correlate these changes to a measured catalytic activity. The data will provide input for automated analysis approaches applying deep learning algorithms developed at Computational Atomic-scale Materials Design (CAMD) at the Department of Physics at DTU.


You will be employed in the Characterization Section at DTU Nanolab where you will be working closely with PhD students, post docs and faculty members using various electron-beam based techniques. You will be collaborating with the theoretical scientists in the Department of Physics, a leading department in surface science and catalysis.


During your employment as a PhD student, you will acquire expert skills in

  • High-resolution transmission electron microscopy.
  • In situ experimentation.
  • Beam-sample interactions.

In addition, the project will involve state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms, in particular deep learning and convolutional neural networks and modern atomic-scale simulation methods, including Density Functional Theory.


If this sounds interesting, you may be our new PhD student!


Candidates should have a two-year master's degree in Physics (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. 


The candidate should have a good knowledge of solid-state physics.  Experience with electron microscopy is an advantage, but not a requirement. The candidate has obtained excellent grades in his/her Bachelor and Master educations and has good communication skills in both spoken and written English. 


Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.


The assessment of the applications will be made by Senior Researcher Thomas W. Hansen, DTU Nanolab.


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 appointment terms

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 position is available immediately and should start in 2019.


The position, which involves a limited teaching obligation, includes salary and travel grants covering the three years it takes to obtain a PhD degree at a Danish university. Salary level is approximately 50.000 Euro/year incl. pension.


You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher Thomas W. Hansen, email:
You can read more DTU Nanolab at

Please submit your online application no later than 15 September 2019 (local time).


Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.


Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.


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 university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.