PhD Student in Physics: Surface Characterization of Semiconductor Anode Structures

Lund University



Lund University was founded in 1666 and ranks repeatedly as one of the world's top 100 universities. There are 40,000 students and 7,600 employees in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our quest to understand, explain and improve our world and people's conditions.

At the Faculty of Science, research and education is conducted within biology, astronomy, physics, geosciences, chemistry, mathematics and environmental science. The business is run at nine institutions gathered within the northern university area. The faculty has approximately 1,500 students, 330 graduate students and 700 employees. 

The Department of Physics is one of Lund University's largest institutions with approximately 350 employees. At the department there are seven research departments and a number of major centers. The research at the department covers a wide range of modern physics.

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

The MAX IV laboratory ( ) is a national research facility that provides the world-leading synchrotron light source MAX IV with research instruments for researchers from Sweden and the rest of the world. Here, research is being done within materials science and nanotechnology.

NanoLund ( ) is the center for nanosciences at Lund University. Today, NanoLund constitutes the largest environment for nanosciences in Sweden with about 270 doctoral students and researchers from three faculties (Lund University of Technology and the natural and medical faculties). The center runs Lund Nano Lab, which is a high-quality clean room for the synthesis, processing and characterization of semiconductor anode structures.


The purpose of the project is to study technically relevant semiconductor anostructures and to obtain a comprehensive understanding of their surfaces. Structural, electronic and chemical information down to the atomic scale will be obtained from static structures and also under operand conditions or during modification of the surface. Nano threads developed at NanoLund for use in photovoltaics or electronics will be in focus, but surfaces of other nanostructures will also be studied.

Within this project, the doctoral student will use scanning tip microscopy, both scanning tunnel microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), to study different properties of surfaces and interfaces of nanostructures down to atomic level. Complementary experimental methods include photoelectron spectroscopy, ultra-high vacuum or near atmospheric pressure to study chemical reactions, and X-ray diffraction and imaging.

The research group currently has access to three nuclear power microscopes and five scanning tip microscopy systems in ultra-high vacuum, several of which are equipped with electrical contacts for in situ studies of electronic components. The equipment includes a new STM for measurements at low temperatures (10 K). In addition, experiments will be performed at the MAX IV laboratory in Lund and at other international synchrotron light plants and centers for scanning tip microscopy. The experiments will also include the use of other modern nano-characterization techniques.

The doctoral student is expected to use existing equipment and develop new methods to explore surfaces of nanostructures in situ, ie while the nanostructure acts as an electronic component, or during surface modification. The work will be carried out in collaboration with several other researchers at the department. The main task is to devote to their own postgraduate education, which includes participation in research projects and successful participation in postgraduate courses. Participation in graduate schools, eg If nanoscience or advanced microscopy is possible. The project is supported by large contributions from the Swedish Research Council.

The supervisor for the project is Rainer Timm and Anders Mikkelsen.


Basic eligibility for postgraduate education has it as:

  1. graduated at advanced level,
  2. or completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, with content that is relevant to the doctoral education (eg master's / master's / master's degree in physics or the like),
  3. or, in some other way, within or outside the country, acquired substantially equivalent knowledge.

The requirements for special eligibility for the postgraduate subject matter physics meet the one who has:

  1. at least 30 higher education credits with relevance to the subject area, of which at least 15 higher education credits at advanced level and a specialization of at least 15 higher education credits at advanced level with relevance to the subject area,
  2. or MSc in engineering physics or related subject area,
  3. or master's or master's degree in physics or related subject area.

Finally, the student is required to have the ability needed to take advantage of the education.

Other requirements:

Good knowledge of English, in speech and writing, is a requirement.

Basis of Assessment

Selection for postgraduate education takes place according to the assessed ability to assimilate the same. The assessment of the ability is mainly based on the study results at the basic and advanced levels. In particular, the following are taken into account:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis work and the educational topic, see Tasks. These can be displayed through attached documents.
  2. Assessed ability for independent work and ability to formulate and attack scientific problems. The assessment can take place, for example, on the basis of the degree project and a discussion about this in the event of an interview.
  3. Ability to write and oral communication.
  4. Other experiences relevant to the education at doctoral level, eg professional experience.

Other assessment grounds / qualifications:

Consideration will also be given to good co-operation, forward-thinking and independence, as well as creativity and curiosity.

For this employment, experience of high-resolution nuclear power microscopy or scanning tunnel microscopy or studies of semiconductor surfaces is important. Ability for skilled laboratory work is necessary, including advanced microscopy and ultra-high vacuum technology. Experience of working on synchrotron light plants is of further advantage. Experience with scientific collaboration with researchers from other disciplines and from other countries is of value.


A doctoral student service is an employment with the main task of devoting himself to his / her own doctoral education according to the study plan. The PhD program has a duration of 4 years for full-time studies. In addition, the holder may be required to fulfill service relating to education, research and technical / administrative work corresponding to a maximum of 20% of full-time. The doctoral student service is then extended to a corresponding degree, but at the most to correspond to 5 years of full-time employment. The doctoral student service is surrounded by special regulations that can be found in the Higher Education Ordinance (SFS 1993: 100, chapter 5, with amendments). As the holder, only one who is admitted to postgraduate education may be appointed.


Apply online! The application must contain a letter in which the applicant card describes itself and its research interests. The application must also contain a CV, a copy of the thesis or equivalent or a summary in case the work is not completed, a list of at least two references with contact information, copies of grades and other documents that the applicant wishes to rely on.

In your application, please refer to


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