PhD position: ultrafast broadband-THz spectroscopy of perovskite materials – Universiteit Leiden – Leiden

  • Leiden

Universiteit Leiden

Do you want to study the flow of electrons and vibrations on ultrafast timescales (ps to ns) in materials that are very relevant to the energy-transition? Are you looking for a challenging project involving advanced ultrafast laser spectroscopy? Would you like to work in a friendly and collaborative environment? Then you might want to join our young team as a PhD candidate!

The Faculty of Science Leiden and Leiden Institute of Chemistry (specifically the Catalysis and Surface Science department) are looking for a PhD candidate.

Work and profile
The Faculty of Science Leiden and Leiden Institute of Chemistry are looking for a PhD candidate in experimental ultrafast spectroscopy.

Metal-halide perovskites (MHP) are optically active materials, which hold great promise as light-absorber (e.g. in photovoltaic devices and photodetectors) and as light-emitter (e.g. in LEDs). The material is both ionic and soft, meaning that electrons strongly ’talk’ to the vibrations in the lattice. These lattice vibrations have frequencies in the 0-5 THz range and are thus thermally active at room temperature, meaning that the material is in a constant state of vibrational motion, which acts a source of dynamic disorder. This disorder is poorly understood, and can localize electrons on short length- and time scales.

Within this project, we aim to understand the motion of photoexcited electrons in MHPs within the framework of dynamic disorder. To this end, you will construct and use an optical-pump/broadband-THz probe spectrometer, with which we can probe the frequency-resolved photoconductivity on timescales spanning picoseconds to nanoseconds. You will work in a recently founded group which focuses on both advanced (nano)materials development and ultrafast spectroscopy.

Overall, during your PhD trajectory you will

  • Construct advanced spectroscopic setups.
  • Get experienced in solution-based perovskite synthesis (development).
  • Collect and analyse (time-resolved/nonlinear) spectroscopic data.
  • Model the acquired data using state-of-the-art theory using Python/Matlab/etc.
  • Discuss with, and help, colleagues.
  • Develop your own ideas to address research questions, and pose these questions yourself.
  • Publish your results in peer-reviewed journals and write your PhD thesis.
  • Present your results at (inter)national conferences.
  • Participate in teaching activities.
  • Develop yourself through additional (soft skill) courses and schools.
  • Selection criteria
    We are looking for a motivated candiate, who has:

  • A Master’s degree in Chemistry, Physics, or a related discipline.
  • A strong interest in ultrafast spectroscopy, solid-state chemistry/physics.
  • Excellent proficiency in English, both verbally and written.
  • A hands-on mentality, not afraid to tackle complex experimental setups and challenges.
  • The candidate should feel comfortable working in a collaborative environment. Initiative and creativity are highly valued. Experience with ultrafast spectroscopy, optics, proficiency in (soft- and hardware) programming (for example in Python) and/or perovskite materials preparation is an advantage, but not essential: most things you will learn as you go.

    Description of organisation and terms of employment
    We offer a position for one year and upon satisfactory performance to be extended for three years. You will be appointed in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The salary ranges from € 2.770,- to € 3.539,- gross per month, depending on experience (pay scale P).

    Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information, see .

    The Faculty of Science at Leiden University is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

    The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelors’ and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and over 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

    Leiden University is one of Europe’s leading international research universities.

    Thanks to its committed and inspired employees, the university enjoys a leading role in academic research and education. Leiden also scores very well every year in prominent rankings. This means that, to maintain our position, the bar is set very high. Regardless of the work you do at our university, you are always encouraged to broaden your horizons, develop your talents and reach your full potential. Will you become our newest colleague?

    Are you enthusiastic about this vacancy? We are looking forward to get to know you. You can apply using the application button below.

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