PhD project on the Electronic Properties of Mesoscopic Free-Standing Complex Oxide Micromembranes

tirsdag 22 jun 21

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Frist 1. august 2021
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The research focuses on understanding and utilizing the electronic system at the interfaces of the complex oxides strontium titanate (SrTiO3) and lanthanum aluminate (LaAlO3). While the materials themselves are very good electrical insulators a high-quality two-dimensional electron system appears at the interface. This system has remarkable properties, sharing some key properties with semiconductors such as being susceptible to electrostatic gating. However, in contrast to semiconductors, the electrical field not only changes the carrier density and conductivity but can also drive the electron system through quantum phase transitions into superconducting or magnetic phases. This provides a unique possibility to study the role of strong interactions in nanoscale systems. Reliable fabrication of devices and incompatibility with conventional silicon-based semiconductor technology have, however, been major roadblocks for the study and exploitation of the LAO/STO system. Together with collaborators from Naples, Italy we have recently demonstrated a method to produce millions of nominally identical free-standing LAO/STO micro membranes in a single crystal growth. These structures can be incorporated into devices using established techniques from semiconductor mesoscopics thus providing new possibilities for the field of oxide electronics.

The overall aim of the project is to exploit these unique nanostructures to study and utilize the properties of oxide heterostructures. By detailed measurements of electronic and ionic transport from ambient conditions to ultralow temperatures the project will investigate the role of interactions in confined systems. Compared to bulk heterostructures, the free-standing geometry further allows for mechanically inducing strain in the heterostructure and potentially allow us to study a continuous transition to the ferroelectric states at finite strain.

Job description
The position will involve fabrication of LAO/STO devices on silicon using clean-room semiconductor processing (lithography, metal deposition methods etc, using facilities at DTU and at the Niels Bohr Institute). Detailed electrical characterization will be performed both at room temperature and at ultra-low temperatures in a dilution cryostat. The experiments will be performed in collaboration with colleges from Chalmers University, Sweden and there will be close interaction with the group of Prof. Fabio Granozio, Naples, Italy, responsible for heterostructure growth.


  • MSc. Degree (120 ECTS points) In Physics, Materials Science, Electrical Engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.
  • A strong background in condensed matter physics or materials science
  • Experience in low temperature electronic measurements.
  • Experience with electronics and electronic circuits.
  • Ability to work independently, to plan and carry out complicated tasks, and to be a part of a larger group.
  • Experience in Python programming.
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and spoken

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.

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 October 2021 or earlier, but requests for later starting dates can also be met. The position is for 3 years.

Further information
For any further information regarding the position, please contact Prof. Thomas Sand Jespersen, +45 28570164, or Head of Section, Prof. Nini Pryds, +45 4677 5752,

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

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1 August 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:

  • 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
The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage is focusing on functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technology. Our research areas include fuel cells, electrolysis, solar cells, electromechanical converters, sustainable synthetic fuels, and batteries. The Department, which has more than 200 employees, was founded in 2012. Additional information about the department can be found on

Technology for people
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 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.