PhD Position at the Solid State Physics Group “Time-resolved X-ray diffraction study of functional piezoelectric materials under external electric field”

The University of Siegen is an innovative and interdisciplinary University with ~ 17.500 students, 1.700 employees, including ~ 1.100 researchers. It offers a broad range of subjects covering humanities, social sciences, economics, natural sciences and engineering, excellent teaching facilities, and numerous interdisciplinary research projects.

Applications are invited for a PhD position at the Solid State Physics Group (Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology) for a fixed term contract up to 3 years. The successful candidate will participate in the BMBF-funded project “Time-resolved X-ray diffraction study of functional piezoelectric materials under external electric field”. The anticipated start date is 1st December 2013; the salary falls within grade 1/2 TVL 13 of the German pay scale (3/4 TVL 13 after one year).

About the project: The challenge for the modern X-ray structure analysis is investigation of structural dynamics of solids under external perturbations such as electric field, change of temperature, stress, short laser pulses, etc. This interest is motivated by fundamental and materials science related questions as response of a material to an external perturbation defines its physical properties. The aim of this project is to develop a new stroboscopic data-acquisition system for 10 ns (and longer) time-resolved X-ray diffraction experiments. The new system will be used to study the microscopic origin of giant piezoelectric effect in perovskite based ferroelectric materials (PbZrTiO3, Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3, etc.). The project is a collaboration between the University of Siegen, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the P02 beamline at the PETRA III synchrotron in Hamburg.

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Your duties:

  • Evaluation of structural changes in perovskite-based piezoelectrics under dynamically applied external electric field by using time-resolved X-ray diffraction experiments.
  • Development and installation of the new data acquisition system at the experimental station at PETRA III Synchrotron in Hamburg. This part of the work will be carried out in collaboration with members of the electronic laboratory of the University of Siegen.
  • Participation in regular experiments at central synchrotron radiation facilities (PETRA III, ESRF and DIAMOND) and investigation of fine structural features, structural disorder and dynamics of novel ferroelectric and relaxor ferroelectric materials.  

Your profile:

1. Mandatory

  • A diploma or master’s degree in Physics (or related subjects) with an excellent final mark.
  • Basic knowledge of crystallography, X-ray structure analysis and solid state physics.
  • Experience in using scientific programming languages (MATLAB or C++).

2. Desired

  • Good marks in theoretical physics (undergraduate / postgraduate course).
  • Basic knowledge of FPGA and VHDL programming language.
  • Experience with the development of innovative electronic instruments.

The University of Siegen is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer.

Further information can be obtained from Dr. Semën Gorfman,                                  

Please submit your applications (CV and a short motivation letter) by 15.10.2013 to Prof. Dr. Ullrich Pietsch / Dr Semën Gorfman, Universität Siegen, Fakultät  IV, Department Physik, 57068 Siegen (code number 2013/ Fak IV/Physik/WM/94).

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