PhD Student Position in Atomistic Modeling of Materials for Solar Energy Applications

Chalmers University of Technology



Department of Physics at Chalmers - Home of the Graphene Flagship
Stimulated by major needs and challenges in science and a sustainable society, the ambition of the department of Physics is to foster a creative environment for academic research, learning and outreach. We provide a competitive advantage by linking our top-level international and interdisciplinary academic performance in the areas of material science, nanotechnology and energy research with world-leading industrial R&D&I projects.

We address a wide array of experimental, computational, methodological and theoretical challenges, from fundamental physics research, through the development of new materials such as graphene to direct industrial projects generating new inventions. We have a strong learning commitment on all levels from undergraduate to PhD studies where physics meet engineering. We are situated in a stimulating and creative environment with newly renovated facilities. The department is the major part of Gothenburg Physics Centre – a collaboration between five departments at Chalmers and Gothenburg University.

Information About The: The Materials and Surface Theory Group
The Materials and Surface Theory group at the Department of Applied Physics focuses on the application of electronic structure and atomic scale simulation methods to address current problems in materials science. Many of our research activities concerns materials of interest for energy harvesting from solar, thermal, and fusion sources. In these areas we work closely with several experimental and theory groups both nationally and internationally. We strive for providing a stimulating, motivating, and collaborative research environment.

The present project focuses on modeling of complex physical phenomena in emerging photoabsorbing materials for solar energy applications. It will focus on materials used in solar cells, such as halide perovskites, and in water-splitting photoelectrochemical cells, such as complex metal oxides. The nature, energetics and mobility of photogenerated holes and electrons will be studied, as well as their interactions with defects, surfaces and interfaces. The main goal of the project is to contribute to development of materials for improved solar devices. Advanced electronic structure methods, such as the GW approximation, hybrid functionals and ab-initio molecular dynamics simulations, as implemented in the ABINIT, QuantumEspresso or CP2K codes, will be used.

Major Responsibilities
During the PhD project you will work on understanding how complex physical phenomena, such as e.g. polarons formation and their interaction with defects and interfaces, affect the efficiency of solar devices. You will contribute to the search of new photoabsorbing materials and engage in collaborations with experimental groups. As part of the project, you will be expected to communicate research results both orally at international conferences and in writing in scientific journals.

Position Summary
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

You should hold a Master degree or equivalent in physics, chemistry or materials science and have a strong interest in computational modeling and electronic structure calculations. You should enjoy working in a collaborative environment including interactions with both theoreticians and experimentalists.

The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Our Offer To You
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city of Gothenburg
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Application Procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20190310 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal Letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
• 1-3 pages where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications.
• Previous research fields and main research results.
• Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Other Documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application Deadline: 30th June, 2019

For questions, please contact:
Assistant Professor, Julia Wiktor, Division of Materials and Surface Theory, 

In your application, please refer to