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Advanced nanostructures for photon detection and sustainable energy generation

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Jesper Wallentin
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

This project will use state of the art nanofabrication methods to create novel devices that convert photons to electrical current, and investigate their interaction with X-rays.

Solar cells and photodetectors absorb photons and convert their energy into electrical power, and they are essential for renewable energy generation, telecommunications and X-ray imaging. Their performance is limited by the semiconductor materials that they are formed of, but completely new optical and electronic semiconductors properties can be achieved by nanostructuring. For instance, quantum confinement can make the optical absorption strongly size dependent, and new crystal structures, that are unstable in bulk, can be created. Nanostructuring can therefore allow radically new device concepts.

This project will use state of the art nanofabrication methods to create novel devices that convert photons to electrical current. The student will develop devices and study their interaction with photons. In particular, the project will investigate the interaction of X-rays with nanostructures, with the aim of developing future high-resolution detectors. The project aims at reducing the pixel size of X-ray detectors from the current micrometer size to tens of nanometers.

The student will create devices in the Lund Nano Lab (, which has world class facilities for nanodevice fabrication. Devices will be made using electron beam lithography, crystal growth, metal evaporation and other nanofabrication tools. The devices will initially be characterized and optimized using electrical and optical methods. Subsequently, the devices will be tested using nanofocused X-ray beams at the Nanomax beamline at the new MAX IV synchrotron, as well as at PETRA-III in Germany, ESRF in France and other international synchrotron facilities.

The project is primarily experimental and will require extensive work in the cleanroom of the Lund Nano Lab. Knowledge and experience of X-rays is not required; this will form a part of the training as required.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

For the present position, competence in semiconductor physics and related experimental methods are of special value.

Additional assessment criteria are:

Experience in semiconductor fabrication techniques such as lithography
Experience in semiconductor physics
Experience in optical and electrical characterization of semiconductors.
Experience with novel materials, such perovskites or nanowires.
Experience in X-ray sources, X-ray detectors and X-ray imaging
Experience in programming

Selection to postgraduate studies is based on the expected ability to perform well in the studies. The evaluation of the ability to perform well is based primarily on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular:

Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of the study.
An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
Written and oral communication skills
Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

For more information please see:

Funding Notes

The position is fully funded and the succesful candidate will get a monthly salary.

Only online applications are accepted, at
Email applications are not accepted

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