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 45 000 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.

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

The PhD position is placed at the Division of Synchrotron Radiation Research at the Department of Physics.

The Division of Synchrotron Radiation Research ( is a part of the Physics Department, with about 50 employees. The main focus of the research at the division is experimental studies of electronic, structural, and chemical properties of materials. At the division we use and develop a wide range of synchrotron- and lab-based techniques, including x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy central for this position.

The PhD student will also be part of the NanoLund (, which 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 nanostructured surfaces.

At the MAX IV ( laboratory the PhD student will work at our two APXPS beamlines HIPPIE and SPECIES. 

Work duties

Within the last 5 years the PI and co-workers at the division and in the APXPS team at MAX IV pioneered the field of time-resolved ambient pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy giving superior time-resolution [1-3]. In particular, we developed in situ methodologies and instrumentation capable of measuring the chemical state of a catalyst surface and the localized gas composition above it– including product molecules formed - simultaneously and with ms to µs time-resolution. This gives unique possibilities study short-lived active phases and how the micro-equilibrium near the surface act as drivers of catalytic reactions. Within this PhD project, we will develop the methodology and instrumentation for tr-APXPS further, both at MAX IV and possible at other synchrotron facilities and at new lab-based ambient pressure photo-electron spectroscopy instrument specially designed for time-resolved experiments.

The goal of this PhD project is to study fast catalyst restructuring on surfaces induced by exposure to cyclic gas compositions -, temperature -, or pressure pulses using APXPS as we did before but also with UPS and NEXAFS (developed within the project). In particular, we will study bi-metallic surfaces and particles and more complicated reactions as oxidation of carbon hydrides or the production of alcohols from CO2 (until now we mainly focused our studies at simple CO oxidation).

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%).

[1] Knudsen et al., Nature Communications 12, 6117 (2021)

[2] Shavorskiy et al., ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 13, 40 (2021)

[3] Shavorskiy et al., Synchrotron Radiation News, 35, 4-10 (2022)

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third-cycle studies in Physics if he or she has:

  • passed an independent project ( project) of at least 30 credits in a relevant subject
  • Equivalent knowledge acquired through corresponding programmes will be assessed individually. In order to enable interdisciplinary initiatives and important specialisations in certain areas, students with qualifications in subjects other than Physics may be considered for admission.

Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the programme.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

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

Other assessment criteria

It is an additional qualification if you have experience of

  • programming
  • working ultra-high vacuum equipment.
  • working synchrotron facilities
  • x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

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.

Terms of employment

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications may be written in English or Swedish and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

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
First day of employment as soon as possible
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/996
  • Jan Knudsen, +46462228283
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
Published 24.Mar.2023
Last application date 14.Apr.2023 11:59 PM CEST

Return to job vacancies