PhD position in High resolution X-ray diffraction contrast tomography

DTU Energy
Monday 01 May 17

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The section for Imaging and Structural Analysis (ISA) in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Energy) is seeking a candidate for a PhD position in High resolution X-ray diffraction contrast tomography.

At DTU Energy, we have considerable experience with development of 3rd generation solar cells, specifically as regards scale-up to devices that may be manufactured at high speed in large volume.

To become truly competitive as an important part of the energy supply in the future society, relying entirely on sustainable energy, we must acquire a better understanding of the fundamental processes of charge generation and transport in 3rd generation solar cells.

At DTU Energy, we are leading experts in characterization of the crucial nanostructures governing solar cell performance, but in order to model and manage charge generation and transport in solar cells, we need to understand not only the static structures, but also the dynamic properties of the system. See also below for a further description of the department and the research section.

This is a fully funded position offered by DTU Energy with all employee benefits.

Responsibilities and tasks

  • In this project, the candidate will use tomography methods that rely on diffraction based contrast to quantify the texture and strain distribution of crystalline phases in 3rd generation solar cells in the complete solution-cast devices. The methods will be applied to both inorganic and polymer materials systems. In the application to solution-cast, inorganic kesterite solar cells, focus will be on the 3D mapping of grain boundaries and secondary phases, and the distribution of strain and defects. The latter case will constitute the first quantification of the spatial distribution of the crystalline part in an absorber layer consisting of a semi-crystalline conjugated polymer.
  • The candidate will carry out diffraction tomography experiments on materials, synthesized and processed in the group, at large scale facilities (synchrotrons) and analyse the resulting 3D crystallographic data to establish 3D models of crystalline texture and phase conformation.
  • As the direct outcome of the project, we aim to
    • Acquire 3D data that allow us to quantify crystalline domain size, texture and defect concentrations with high spatial resolution and grain boundary relations in bulk absorber layers and at interfaces to the bounding electrodes.
    • Image the 3D spatial distribution and strain state of the crystalline phases in kesterite and semi-crystalline polymer solar cells
    • Show the dynamical degradation effects on micro- and nanocrystalline morphology by in situ d-TXM on 3rd generation solar cells
  • The project constitutes a central part of SEEWHI, a 5 year project, funded by the European Research Council and aimed at a breakthrough in high-efficiency, large scale 3rd generation solar cells.
Candidates should have a master's degree in Physics, Chemistry or a similar relevant degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.

Approval and Enrolment.
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

  • The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Jens Wenzel Andreasen, Head of Section Luise Theil Kuhn, and Professor at DTU Physics, Henning Friis Poulsen
  • The candidate must have a strong background in solid state physics or materials science and preferably have experience with diffraction experiments (X-ray, neutron or electron).
  • We specifically welcome experience and qualifications with tomography and diffraction.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, public-sector consultancy and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

The main workplace will be at DTU Energy, Risø Campus, Denmark.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor, Jens Wenzel Andreasen, tel.: +45 21 32 63 01,
Additional information about the department can be found on

Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.

Please submit your online application no later than 1 June 2017.

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (an official translation into English)
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. The Department, which has more than 200 employees, was founded in 2012.
The section for Imaging and Structural Analysis is leading the department’s research in imaging and scattering experiments with X-rays , neutrons and electrons with focus on in situ and in operando applications.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.