Lunds Universitet, Fysiska Institutionen, Synkrotronljusfysik

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Science. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

The Department of Physics is with a staff of about 350 scientists and educators one of the largest departments within Lund University. There are seven research divisions and a number of research centra within the department. The research activities at the department cover a broad spectrum of modern physics.

The Division of Synchrotron Radiation Research ( is a part of the Physics Department, with about 50 employees. The main focus of the research is experimental studies of electronic, structural, and chemical properties of materials, especially nanostructures. At the division we use and develop a wide range of synchrotron and lab based techniques, such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy/imaging and X-ray diffraction/imaging. We also host Sweden's largest facility for scanning probe microscopy (

MAX IV ( is a national large-scale research laboratory hosted by Lund University and situated within biking distance from the Department of Physics. It provides scientists from Sweden and the rest of the world with the most brilliant Synchrotron radiation source and instrumentation for research in areas such as materials science and nanotechnology.

NanoLund ( is the Centre for Nanoscience at Lund University. NanoLund is today Sweden’s largest research environment for nanoscience, engaging approximately 270 PhD students and scientists in the Faculties of Engineering, Science, and Medicine. It operates Lund Nano Lab, a state-of-the-art cleanroom for the synthesis, processing, and characterization of semiconductor nanostructures.

Job assignment

The aim of this project is to study technologically relevant semiconductor nanostructures and to obtain an as complete understanding of their surfaces as possible. This includes structural, electronic, and chemical information at the atomic scale, obtained even during device operation or surface modification. Nanowires developed at NanoLund and intended for application in photovoltaics or electronics will be in the centre of investigation, but other nanostructure surfaces will be studied as well.

Within this project, the PhD candidate will use scanning probe microscopy – including both scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) – to investigate various properties of nanostructure surfaces and interfaces down to the atomic scale. Complementary experimental techniques include photoemission spectroscopy, under vacuum conditions or even at ambient pressure for monitoring surface chemical reactions, and X-ray diffraction and imaging.

The research group has access to three dedicated AFM setups and to five fully functioning ultrahigh vacuum STM/AFM systems, including a newly acquired low-temperature STM/AFM for measurements at 10K. Several of the STMs are equipped with electrical contacts for in-situ studies of electronic devices. In addition, experiments will be performed at the MAX IV Laboratory in Lund, as well as at other international synchrotron and scanning probe facilities. Finally, experiments will include the use of a variety of other widely used nanoscience characterization and fabrication techniques.

The successful candidate is expected to use existing equipment and develop novel approaches to explore nanostructure surfaces and devices, even under operational conditions or during surface functionalization. The work will be performed in collaboration with several other researchers at the institute. The main task for the doctoral student will be to conduct research education, which includes work with research, but also to master graduate courses. Participation in several PhD schools (e.g. on nanoscience or advanced microscopy) is offered. The project is supported by major grants from the Swedish Research Council.

Supervisors for this project will be Rainer Timm and Anders Mikkelsen.

Entry requirements

A formal requirement for doctoral studies in physics is:

  • a university degree on advanced level within a related field, such as a Master's degree in physics or equivalent, or
  • substantial advanced course work at the Master level, or comparable, including an independent research project.

Furthermore, the acceptance is based on the estimated ability to accomplish postgraduate studies.

Other requirements:

Good knowledge in spoken and written English is a requirement. 

Basis of assessment

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:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to postgraduate studies within the research area, such as a broad and thorough preparation in physics. This can be documented by appended documents.
  2. Estimated ability to work independently and the ability to formulate and solve scientific questions. This ability can be established, for example, based on undergraduate research experiences, a Master's thesis or in a discussion of scientific problems during a possible interview.
  3. Skills in written and oral communication.
  4. Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.

Other assessment criteria:

We consider good cooperation ability, drive, and independent work ability as positive personal attributes, as well as creativity and a curious mind.

For the present position, experience with high resolution AFM or STM or surface studies of semiconductors is important. The ability for skilful laboratory work is essential, including advanced microscopy and ultrahigh vacuum technology. Experience in working at synchrotron radiation facilities is of additional benefit. Experience in the scientific interaction with researchers from other disciplines and from other countries is considered as valuable.

Terms of employment

A PhD position is an employment with the main duty to be engaged in PhD studies according to the study plan. The duration of PhD studies is 4 years full time studies. In addition, those appointed to doctoral student position may be required to work with educational tasks, research, and technical/administrative duties at a level of at most 20% of full time. The position is then extended correspondingly, however not longer than corresponding to 5 years full time employment. PhD positions are subject to special regulations. These can be found in the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (SFS 1993:100, ch. 5, with updates). Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to PhD position.

Application procedure

Apply online! Applications must contain a covering letter in which applicants describe themselves and their particular research interests. Applications must also include a CV, a copy of the applicant’s Master’s thesis (or a summary text if the thesis is not yet completed), contact details of at least two references, copies of grade certificates, and any other documents that the applicant wishes to refer to.

The English version of this announcement is an interpretation of national formalities expressed in the Swedish text. In case of uncertainties, the Swedish text applies.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment as soon as possible
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2019/1554
  • Rainer Timm, +46 46 222 82 94
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
Published 08.May.2019
Last application date 09.Jun.2019 11:59 PM CEST

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