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PhD Position – Chemistry and Materials Science – Sustainable Materials for 3D and 4D Printing

About This PhD Project

Project Description

We offer a PhD Position at the NeptunLab. The NeptunLab is the highly interdisciplinary research group of Prof. Bastian E. Rapp (owner of the chair of Process Technology) at the Department of Microsystems Technology (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg. Research interests include the development of novel materials, technologies and processes for structuring materials and industrial applications. The work of the NeptunLab is published in the most important international journals including Lab-on-a-Chip, Advanced Materials, Angewandte Chemie and Nature and has been featured in national and international radio and print media including the BBC, the New York Times and the Discovery Channel.

Man-made materials are usually designed to be unchangeable in their form and structure. Natural materials however are known to adjust to their surroundings, like a plant orienting its leaves towards the sun. The concept of 4D printing describes materials that have been additively manufactured and are able to their physical form or shape in a controlled fashion. This project aims at providing sustainable materials for 3D and 4D printing: Polymers on the basis of organic materials such as lignin. The polymers must be degradable by an external trigger such as light or change in pH value.
In this project, novel methods for the polymerization of lignin will be tested and developed. To allow for polymer degradation, special crosslinkers will be developed that can be cleaved by light or change in pH value. To adjust the parameters of the polymers, different lignin copolymers will be tested to allow for different polymer properties such as hardness or c This project is part of the the ZEISS Forschungscluster Interactive and programmable materials (IPROM), with a total of 10 research groups from Freiburg working on novel concepts of 4D printing.olour. The developed materials will be engineered for use in a 3D printer. The degradation of the polymers will be analyzed depending on the degradation conditions.

Activities and Responsibilities
• Development of novel techniques for lignin polymerization
• Development of cleavable crosslinkers
• Composition of lignin copolymers
• Development of printable polymer resins
• Analysis of polymer degradation

Qualification Profile
• Master’s degree/Bachelor’s degree/Studies in chemistry, materials science or related subjects
• Profound knowledge of macromolecular chemistry and 3D printing is required
• Knowledge of sustainable materials and photoreactions is beneficial.
• Excellent academic track record
• Excellent English skills in reading and writing
• You should be a team player with ambitions who can conduct research projects independently
• You should be a creative mind without causing excessive chaos around you
• You should be able to structure and document your work properly

• An interdisciplinary work environment with a team of motivated scientists that strive to develop clever solutions for scientific as well as industrial problems
• Well-funded projects with access to excellent state-of-the art infrastructure, generous lab space and scientific equipment
• An aspiring young team with great emphasis on publications and publicity
• A lab structure that promotes the development of the individual members and fosters open-minded scientific discussions
• A strong focus on the career development of the candidate including submitting to and attending the most relevant international conferences and summer schools
• An environment that supports start-up mentality – if your research is industrially applicable and promising, we will move towards commercialization of your solution
• Payment of TV-L 13 75% (full time)
• Depending on the performance of the candidate the PhD degree is generally finished within three years

Your Application

Please consult the “before you apply” section of our homepage http://www.neptunlab.org/index.php/open-positions#BeforeYouApply

Make sure you attach all relevant documents (pdf format preferred)
• Letter of motivation: Why do you apply for this position?
• Curriculum Vitae
• Academic track record (recent grades)
• References



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