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Postdoctoral researcher on the accelerated development of earth-abundant nitrides for next-generation solar hydrogen production

  • 8600Dübendorf
  • Vollzeitstelle

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Postdoctoral researcher on the accelerated development of earth-abundant nitrides for next-generation solar hydrogen production

The Coating Technologies group has a long-standing expertise in physical vapor deposition (PVD) of functional thin-films and coatings, with a particular focus on plasma-based processes. Our goal is to understand the synthesis-structure-property relationships in these processes to develop thin-film materials and coatings with improved properties, but also to synthesize entirely new functional materials, such as high-energy metastable phases. This research project focusses on the development of novel nitrides for water splitting applications. Semiconducting nitrides are an interesting, but underexplored, class of materials for this application due to their adjustable band gaps, favorable transport properties and chemical stability. We will use combinatorial physical vapor deposition combined with automated physical properties mapping and subsequent optimization of promising compounds to discover and develop prototypes for highly efficient and durable nitride photocatalysts. The work will be performed in collaboration with Empa's Laboratory for Joining Technologies and Corrosion as well as the Tilley group at the University of Zurich. Your tasks:Synthesize and characterize ternary nitrides as well as nitride alloysInvestigate the materials' synthesis-structure-property relationships and contribute to extending our understanding of phase-formation during non-equilibrium synthesisCharacterize and optimize the materials' optoelectronic propertiesEvaluate promising materials with respect to their potential for water splitting applications using (photo-)electrochemical analysesInvestigate interfacial phenomena at the semiconductor/electrolyte interfaceWrite peer-reviewed publications and present results at international conferences
Your profile: You are a highly motivated and ambitious scientist with a passion for sustainable technologies. You are goal oriented and enjoy working in a fast-paced, challenging and interdisciplinary environment where teaming and collaboration are encouraged. Your skills:
  • PhD in Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry or another relevant discipline
  • Experience in the development of new (inorganic-) semiconductors and energy materials as demonstrated by a convincing publication record
  • Experience in physical vapor deposition as well as UHV- and thin-film technology
  • Experience in (photo-)electrochemistry is a plus
  • Experience in material and surface characterization (e.g. XRD, XPS, SEM or TEM)
  • Basic programming skills as well as experience in handling and processing of large datasets are strong assets (e.g. in Python or IgorPro)
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are mandatory, German language skills are beneficial but not required
We offer a stimulating, international and collaborative research environment at a leading research institution with an excellent infrastructure and a broad interdisciplinary surrounding. As an institution of the ETH Domain, we offer good employment conditions and plenty of opportunities for your professional development. The workplace is Dübendorf, very close to Zürich. The contract will be initially limited to one year with a possibility of extension and is available upon agreement.