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PhD position: Surface chemistry of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals (ETH-Empa) in Zürich

Studierende finden an der ETH Zürich ein Umfeld, das eigenständiges Denken fördert, Forschende ein Klima, das zu Spitzenleistungen inspiriert.


100%, Zurich, temporary

This is a joint position between Functional Inorganic Materials Group (, ETH Zurich) and Laboratory for Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces (, Empa, Dübendorf)

The research activities in FIMG are focused on challenges related to the chemistry, physics, and applications of inorganic materials ranging from nanostructures to powders, thin films, and single crystals. Central to our efforts is the synthesis of inorganic materials and their integration or self-assembly into multifunctional solid-state structures. Synthetic work and rigorous materials characterization are the cornerstones of our research.

LTNI focuses on the fabrication of the atomically-precise nanostructures and low-dimensional materials and investigation of their fundamental electronic, optoelectronic, thermal, and ionic transport properties. The group has a broad expertise in heterogeneous integration of novel nanomaterials by custom-made methods for nanoscale patterning and interfaces nanostructuring.


Job description

This project aims at the development of colloidal nanocrystals for thermoelectric application. Central to the project will be the chemical synthesis of nanocrystals, tailoring and characterization of their surface chemistry, followed by their assembly into densely packed solids. Hot-injection techniques will be used to synthesize colloidal nanocrystals with the main focus on near-IR-active materials (e.g., PbS) but also including lead halide perovskites. Exploration of various ligands (halides and chalcogenides) and ligand exchange techniques (solution-processed and solid-state) will be a core part of the project. One of the goals is to produce superlattices of electronically-coupled nanocrystals. Another part of the project will include characterization of electronic and thermal properties of these superlattices (thermal and electrical conductivities and Seebeck coefficient).

The research activities will involve:

  • synthesis of various colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots)
  • ligand exchange
  • assembly into nanocrystalline solids
  • micro-nano-technology for device fabrication
  • thermoelectric characterization of obtained devices

The preferred start is in the fall of 2020 or upon agreement.

Your profile
  • Candidates should have recently obtained a master degree in chemistry with outstanding grades
  • Excellent knowledge of inorganic chemistry and strong experimental background in chemistry
  • A keen interest in bridging chemistry and physics
  • Experience in micro-nano-technology for device fabrication will be beneficial
ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • 2-3 names of referees and their email addresses that can be contacted for reference letters. Recommendation letters also can be accepted
  • Academic transcripts of B.Sc. and M.Sc. educations

Applications should be either submitted through our online portal or sent to Dr. Dmitry Dirin () and Prof. Maksym Kovalenko ()

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Technik / Elektronik
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