Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

PRISMAS - PhD Research and Innovation in Synchrotron Methods and Applications in Sweden – is a new doctoral network training the next generation of 40 leading synchrotron experts, and is co-funded by the Horizon Europe MSCA COFUND Programme.

As a PRISMAS PhD student, you will have the chance to conduct cutting-edge research in your field, taking advantage of state of the art tools that will lead to attractive future job opportunities in academia or industry. Moreover, you are part of designing the future of synchrotron technology and instrumentation and using these to tackle some of the most significant global challenges the world faces today while acquiring interdisciplinary and intersectoral knowledge. Being part of the PRISMAS programme gives you the one-of-a-kind experience in form of a secondment at the world´s first 4th generation synchrotron, MAX IV in Lund, Sweden. With a tailored training programme, including courses to build scientific and technical competence as well as strengthen transferrable skills, PRISMAS provides you with the skills, knowledge and competence needed to successfully achieve your doctoral degree. 

Description of the workplace (“Your Team”)

The project is hosted at the Division of Synchrotron Radiation Research (, a part of the Physics Department, with about 60 employees. The main focus of the research at the division 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.

The division has a highly multicultural background. Openness, teamwork, and support are important values. We have continuously been ranked above average in annual work environment evaluations.

Rainer Timm, the main supervisor of the project, is Associate Professor and Head of the division. His research focuses on surface and interface characterization of semiconductor nanostructures, especially during device operation and surface modification.

The research of this project is embedded in the NanoLund Center for Nanoscience, and it is part of the profile area “Light and Materials” of Lund University.


  • M. S. Ram et al., High-density logic-in-memory devices using vertical indium arsenide nanowires on silicon, Nature Electronics 4, 914 (2021).
  • Z. Yong et al., Tuning oxygen vacancies and resistive switching properties in ultra-thin HfO2 RRAM via TiN bottom electrode and interface engineering, Appl. Surf. Sci. 551, 149386 (2021).
  • G. D’Acunto et al., Oxygen relocation during HfO2 ALD on InAs, Faraday Discussions 236, 71 (2022).
  • S. R. McKibbin et al., Operando Surface Characterization of InP Nanowire p-n Junctions, Nano Letters 20, 887 (2020).
  • Y. Liu et al., Self-selective Formation of Ordered 1D and 2D GaBi Structures on Wurtzite GaAs Nanowire Surfaces, Nature Communications 12, 5990 (2021).

What we offer

Lund University is a public authority which means that employees get particular benefits, generous annual leave and an advantageous occupational pension scheme. Read more on the University website about being a Lund University employee Benefits for employees | Lund University

The MSCA COFUND project PRISMAS offers you outstanding opportunities as well as a stimulating and inspiring surrounding for performing cutting-edge research. By supporting your mobility, it creates perfect conditions for strengthening your international network.

Work duties and responsibilities

The aim of this project is to study novel types of technologically relevant semiconductor devices, to understand their physics and improve their performance. For this, you will explore interfaces of advanced metal-oxide-semiconductor structures at the atomic scale. A specific goal is to further develop methods for characterizing electrical nanodevices during operation, e.g. during ferroelectric or resistive switching, or during processing steps.

You will work in close collaboration with other researchers at the institute, combining complementary expertise in structural characterization, materials science, and nanoelectronic devices. You will have access to state-of-the-art characterization equipment of various kind, and you will study devices with internationally leading performance.

The main characterization techniques in this project will be synchrotron-based X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) in various setups, including approaches specialized on hard x-rays (HAXPES), ambient pressure (AP-XPS), or nm-scale spatial resolution. Further developing and optimizing some of these approaches for operando device measurements will be part of your tasks. Complementary characterization techniques include scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) at the Department of Physics.

You will perform part of the measurements in synchrotron experiments (so-called beamtimes), where you will be part of a team working 24/7 over several days, at the MAX IV Laboratory and at other European synchrotrons. Travel to such beamtimes, to conferences where you will present your results, and to collaboration partners will be part of the project.

The training implies a secondment of 3-12 months at MAX IV synchrotron in Lund, Sweden. Additional secondments and/or short stays may be arranged in agreement with the supervisor of the research project. Moreover, you will attend international conferences, participate in periodical project meetings and training schools as well as in specialised courses at different universities to complement your knowledge.  A certain amount of travelling is foreseen in relation to these activities.


For this position, the following qualifications are required:

  • Experience in experimental work and ability for skilful laboratory work
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English

It is of additional qualification if you have experience within

  • Ultrahigh vacuum technology
  • Work at synchrotron facilities
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
  • Scientific interaction with researchers from other disciplines and from other countries

Good collaborative skills as well as drive and independence are of additional benefit.

Finally, you must have the abilities necessary to successfully complete the doctoral program.

Eligibility criteria

To comply with the mobility rule of the MSCA COFUND programme, you are eligible if you have not resided in Sweden for more than 12 months during the period 2020-05-01 to 2023-05-01 for work or studies.

By the employment date (before 01/09/2023) you must have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, have been awarded a Master´s degree or have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

In addition to the criteria mentioned above, you must have fulfilled a second cycle education in Physics or another subject relevant to this project.

You are eligible for the PRISMAS programme, if you qualify for a doctoral candidacy, i.e., are not already in possession of a doctoral degree.

Job assignments

The position is a full-time, fixed term employment for four years, forseen to start on 1/9/2023. Admission to the doctoral studies takes place at the respective University.

The holder of this position has a primary obligation to successfully fulfil her or his postgraduate (third cycle) education, which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses, ending with a doctoral degree (PhD). A position as doctoral student can contain some limited (max. 20%) teaching or other departmental work at the Department of Physics. In this case, the position is extended accordingly, up to a maximum of 5 years. Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

How to apply

Applications are to be submitted via Varbi and must include the following documents:

  • CV in Europass format
  • A two-page cover letter, justifying your interest in the position and how it matches your qualifications as well as the prioritization in case of applying to several PRISMAS positions.
  • at least one reference letter
  • an evidence of English 3 proficiency (minimum B2 level)
  • Copy of academic records (including marks for all coursework) with a transcript of diploma in English,
  • and any other document to which you would like to draw attention (details of referees, letters of recommendation, etc.)

All documents should be uploaded (pdf) in the job application portal. Exam certificates and other documents on paper should be scanned or photographed before being uploaded.

The application will be evaluated based on scientific excellence, the adequacy of your career plan and your thesis project, your research experience in relevance to the project, as well as your written and oral communication skills.

Details on the novel, unique and common selection process for all the PRISMAS positions can be found here: How to apply – MAX IV (


For more detailed information on the position or the research project, please contact:
Rainer Timm (Associate Professor, PI of the project),

For questions on the employment conditions and the university, please contact:
Anne Petersson-Jungbeck (HR administrator),

If you have questions on the selection process, please contact:

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 2023-09-01 or as soon as pooible there after
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/558
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
Published 02.Mar.2023
Last application date 02.May.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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