3 PhD scholarships in Powering Internet of Things with Ambient Solutions

Tuesday 22 Dec 20

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The Internet of Things (IoT) promotes the potential for billions of connected smart devices to communicate with each other using the Internet technology. The growth in the number of internet-connected devices is driven by the broad availability of reliable wireless connectivity as well as of power embedded components. To alleviate the need for primary batteries, smart devices can be self-powered by capturing green energy from one or more renewable energy sources, such as light, temperature and/or vibration, and converting these into electrical energy.

The 4 positions offered are part of a new national project supported by the Independent Research Fund Denmark within the thematic research areas of Green Transition – powering the Internet of Things. The project is carried out in close collaboration between DTU, SDU, Berkeley Lab and MIT and we hope that you might want to join the project?

The objective of this project is to develop a new family of miniaturized energy sources, able to harvest and store energy from a combination of heat, mechanical vibrations and light in a single device. We expect to develop and understand a radically new family of all-solid-state micro-energy devices, able to harvest and store energy simultaneously for the use in sensors for the IoT.

PhD scholarship 1 - Solid-state-battery thin films: Storage
We seek a PhD candidate for synthesis, preparation, and materials processing of new metal oxides thin films to fabricate all Solid-State Batteries. This involves the synthesis of solid-state electrolyte materials and electrodes based on thin films devices with tailored microstructure and interfaces. Investigation of structurally defined sharp interfaces without impurities is an effective approach to develop low-resistance interfaces in batteries. Electrolyte/electrode interfaces fabricated without exposing the electrode surfaces to air provide an ideal platform to clarify intrinsic battery performance and this will be carried out using Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) and sputtering. The ultimate aim of this work is to fabricate a working micro solid-state-battery on Si. This promises a step-change in energy density and a reduction in battery volume.

Location of PhD project: Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

Contact person: Prof. Nini Pryds, nipr@dtu.dk

PhD scholarship 2 - Thermoelectric thin films: Harvesting
Here, we seek a PhD candidate to fabricate thin film thermoelectric generator on Si. The research will include the development of novel nanostructured thin films and investigation of electronic, thermal and thermoelectric properties of thin films. The goal is to fabricate a thermoelectric generator with increased efficiency by tuning its properties using external gating. The successful applicant will work as part of a multidisciplinary research team, which has a focus on development of thermoelectric materials and micro-thermoelectric generator on Si platforms. The present position will involve studies in the areas of fundamental materials science and thin films of functional oxides, in particular growth by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) and sputtering.

Location of PhD project: Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

Contact person: Researcher, Dennis Valbjørn Christensen, dechr@dtu.dk

PhD scholarship 3 - Electro-Chemo-Mechanical: Harvesting
We seek a PhD candidate to fabricate piezoelectric harvesting devices based on thin films on silicon. We especially aim to investigate the synergy between chemo-mechanical microstructure and strain effects at the thin film to enhance the material performances. We use pulsed laser deposition (PLD) to grow epitaxial thin film with precise chemical composition and controlled microstructures. The fabricated materials on Si will be used as a cantilever device for harvesting energy from vibrations. Based on the resonance of the cantilever, we aim to design mechanical energy harvesters ready for the IoT.

Location of PhD project: Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

Contact person: Prof. Vincenzo Esposito, vies@dtu.dk

Postdoc - All-oxide tandem-PV: Harvesting
We seek a postdoc candidate for synthesis of metal oxide thin films using reactive sputtering and pulsed laser deposition (PLD) processes, to develop all-oxide thin film photovoltaic (PV) devices for the IoT. A focus will be on controlling e.g. microstructure, chemical composition and interfaces during the metal oxide thin film growth process to tune work functions, carrier concentrations, energy level alignment etc. The work includes synthesis and integration of metal oxide electron and hole transport layers, as well as of active absorber layers. Tandem devices will be developed, and the work will include surface science characterization of the individual layers along with the full device characterization.

Location of Postdoc project: The University of Southern Denmark, NanoSYD, Denmark

To apply for the postdoc position at SDU NanoSYD: https://www.sdu.dk/da/service/ledige_stillinger/1136733

Contact person: Prof. Morten Madsen, madsen@mci.sdu.dk

Qualifications for the PhD positions
For applicants to be qualified they should have:

  • A MSc degree (120 ECTS points) in engineering, physics, chemistry, materials science or similar
  • A strong background in applied physics/materials science
  • Thin film growth by pulsed laser deposition or sputtering
  • Fabrication and testing of electrical thin film devices and materials
  • The ability to work independently with a strong drive, to plan and carry out complicated tasks, and to be a part of a large, dynamic group
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and spoken
  • Experience in programming, finite element modelling or writing measurement software is advantageous, but not a requirement.

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 applicants will be made by Professor Nini Pryds and chosen team members.

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.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

The expected starting date is 1 April 2021, but requests for later starting dates can also be met. All the positions are for 3 years.

Further information
Please contact Professor Nini Pryds, +45 46 77 57 52, nipr@dtu.dk.

Please do not send applications to these e-mail addresses, only online applications as described below will be considered.

You can read more about DTU Energy at www.energy.dtu.dk/english

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 1 February 2021 (Danish 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:

  • Indicate which one of the 3 PhD scholarship are you applying for
  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc)
  • List of publications
  • Grade transcripts and diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

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 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 www.ecs.dtu.dk

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DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.