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

The Division of Synchrotron Radiation Research ( has around 60 employees, out of which around 25 are PhD students. The main focus of the research at the division is on 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 NanoLund (, which is the Centre for Nanoscience at Lund University. Today, NanoLund is Sweden’s largest research environment for nanoscience, engaging approximately 270 PhD students and scientists in the Faculties of Engineering, Science, and Medicine. NanoLund has close links to Lund Nano Lab, a state-of-the-art cleanroom for the synthesis, processing and characterisation of nanostructured surfaces.

At MAX IV the PhD student will work closely together with the APXPS team consisting of 11 scientists dedicated to keep our two APXPS beamlines HIPPIE and SPECIES operating 24/7 and to the continuous development of these beamlines.

During the last couple of years we have pioneered the application of ambient pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (APXPS) with second time resolution to the elucidation of the surface physics and chemistry of atomic layer deposition (ALD), a method for thin film growth of fundamental importance for modern semiconductor technology and other materials areas. Within the present project we will take the next step in developing APXPS for the study of ALD, by making use of the capabilities for micro- to millisecond time-resolved APXPS developed by the APXPS team at MAX IV. We will make use of the unique opportunities for time-resolved APXPS for ALD studies at the SPECIES and HIPPIE beamlines as well as at a new-lab-based APXPS instrument at Lund University specifically designed for time-resolved experiments.


  • Giulio D’Acunto et al., Chemistry of Materials 35 (2023) 529
  • Knudsen et al., Nature Communications 12 (2021) 6117
  • Schnadt et al., Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 32 (2020) 413003

What we offer

The Division of Synchrotron Radiation Research and the Department of Physics offer you a stimulating, internationally oriented and collegial environment in which you can develop your research skills in an optimal way.

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

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is one of the most important technologies for thin film growth, in semiconductor device technology, but increasingly also in areas such as catalysis, fuel cells, batteries, etc. ALD is based on alternating short exposures on the ms to s timescale of a support material to different precursors that adsorb and react in a self-limiting manner. Using operando spectroscopy in the form of ambient pressure XPS (APXPS) and ambient pressure XAS (APXAS) and theoretical modelling you will investigate the surface physics and chemistry underlying ALD. You will use the SPECIES and HIPPIE beamlines as well as a new lab-based instrument for APXPS, and together we will implement the method of stroboscopic operando spectroscopy recently developed at MAX IV for catalysis investigations (see references) for ALD. In this way, we will be able to gain unprecedented time resolution in the observation of ALD. The experimental studies will be combined with theoretical modelling of the studied ALD processes.

You are expected to develop into an independent researcher, who is able to work in a team of researchers. You will work together with another PRISMAS student working on time-resolved APXPS experiment on catalytic surfaces as well as with other researchers involved in our APXPS and ALD activities. There will be plenty of possibilities for collaboration on projects performed at the MAX IV beamlines and at our Division.

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 (up to 20% of the working time; the four-year time duration of the PhD is extended by the amount of time spent on teaching and department duties).

Supervisors for this project will be:

Joachim Schnadt (main supervisor), Jan Knudsen (co-supervisor), Esko Kokkonen (co-supervisor), Petter Persson (co-supervisor)

The training implies a secondment of 3-12 months at MAX IV laboratory 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.


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, you have:

  • knowledge and skills relevant for the thesis project,
  • good written and oral communication skills,
  • very good oral and written proficiency in English
  • the ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems,
  • other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.

It is an additional qualification if you have:

  • experience of programming.
  • experience of working with ultrahigh vacuum equipment.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through the applicant's experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Eligibility criteria

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. Students with qualifications in subjects other than Physics will be considered for admission.

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 2020-10-30 to 2023-10-31 for work or studies as main occupation.

By the employment date (before 01/03/2024) 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 a relevant field, such as physics, chemistry, materials science or a related subject.

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 1/3/2024. Admission to the doctoral studies takes place at the respective University.

The holders of these positions have a primary obligation to successfully fulfil their postgraduate (third cycle) education ending with a doctoral degree (PhD). A position as doctoral student can contain some limited teaching or other departmental work at the Department of Physics. The maximum amount of such work is 20%.

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 as well as your research experience. In regard to eventually incomplete applications (especially if lacking documents listed above), the PRISMAS Management reserves the right to not include them in the selection process, without any additional notification to the corresponding candidates.

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: Joachim Schnadt,, +46 46 22 23925.

For questions on the employment conditions and the university, please contact: Anne Petersson Jungbeck,

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



Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 2024-03-01 or as soon as possible therafter
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/2753
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
Published 01.Sep.2023
Last application date 31.Oct.2023 11:59 PM CET

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