Uppsala University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Admission to Doctoral (PhD) Studies in the subject Engineering Sciences with specialization in Solid State Physics

at the Division of Solid State Physics, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Uppsala University

Join us!

About the Department

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering aims to be an environment for successful and valuable research and education with a focus on materials science solutions for important societal challenges. Our department is an exciting workplace with research in a broad technology-related area, from basic research to large-scale applied research, and with close contacts with students through the department's involvement in engineering and master's programs. Our research and teaching are conducted within seven divisions with different research focus.

Read more about us here

About the division

The Division of Solid State Physics is part of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Ångström Laboratory. At the division, we do both basic and application-oriented research that is related to energy and environmental aspects as well as life science via our different research areas. Most commonly, we investigate physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials and compounds whether they will be used as coatings for smart windows, for gas sensors, photocatalytic coatings, and spintronics, or for biomagnetic applications or to create new magnetic materials for environmentally friendly energy technologies.

Project description

The project aims to develop principles for manipulating nanostructures with light. Two parallel tracks with a direct connection to each other must be examined. 1) A completely new type of technology for computer and mobile phone screens is to be developed. In the project, dynamically tunable metamaterials for passive display technology in so-called E-papers are studied. By using electrochromic materials with color memory capacity as the base material, its power consumption will be only <1% of current LED display technology, allowing it to be fully powered by solar cells, as in a regular calculator. 2) The project will also explore intelligent materials using similar nano-fabrication techniques and light manipulation. Here, artificial intelligence is obtained by programming metastructures of nano/microparticles, which can spontaneously "search" for specific environments through light manipulation, similar to how bacteria do (with other stimuli). Other applications are dynamically tunable structures for manipulating light in optoelectronic applications.


The main duty for a doctoral student is to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in the research project and  PhD courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%)

When you are admitted to doctoral studies, you are offered employment as a doctoral student. A position as a doctoral student at Uppsala University corresponds to full-time PhD education for four years.

Read more about being a Doctoral student here.

The tasks in the research project for this doctoral position involve:

  • Numerical simulation (Comsol, MatLab, commercial software for optical simulations, etc.)
  • Cleanroom nanomanufacturing of nano- and metamaterials using lithographic methods.
  • Measurement of optical material properties.
  • Optimizing the optical measurement system.
  • It is also expected that the doctoral student will make and participate in measurements of the morphology, structure and chemical composition of the materials using techniques available in the research group and the infrastructure of the Ångström laboratory.

Collaborations include both academic and industrial ones. Examples are patent applications, commercialization and industry collaboration. The weight of experiments and theoretical work may vary during the course of the project.

Being a PhD student means independently running projects within a specific subject. You collaborate on an ongoing basis with other doctoral students and researchers to create results within various projects and have one or more supervisors for support during your doctoral studies. However, you work independently to a great amount, e.g. by working in a laboratory environment and writing articles for journals and for results for your doctoral thesis. Usually some form of half-time seminar is included after about half of the doctoral studies.


Master's degree in physics or technical physics or a similar field that the employer considers equivalent.

We require good oral and written skills in English

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines.

Additional qualifications

Experience in the following areas is advantageous.

  • Optics and photonics
  • Work in clean room environments
  • Lithographic techniques to fabricate nano- and microstructures

Great emphasis will be put on personal qualities such as the ability to independently plan and carry out work. You have good communication skills in speech and writing, where through this quality you cooperate well with others and can present scientific results. You also have a good ability to write academic texts.

Your application must include

  • A short cover letter in which you describe yourself, why you want to do a PhD and why you are suitable for this position.
  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • A certified copy of your master's degree and your course grades.
  • Copies (or drafts) of your master's thesis and other documents, such as publications, that you wish to refer to.
  • Names and contact details of at least two contact persons who have accepted to be references for you, with any additional letters of recommendation. It must also be stated what relationship you have had with the respective referent.

The application should be written in English. We will continuously read applications and call for interviews.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date 1 september 2024 or as agreed upon. Placement: Uppsala

For further information about the position, please contact: Asst. Prof. Kunli Xiong, +46 729371508, kunli.xiong@angstrom.uu.se. Prof. Lars Österlund, +46 702562425, lars.osterlund@angstrom.uu.se 

Please submit your application by 20th June 2024, UFV-PA 2024/1668

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden.

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
Salary According to local collective agreement
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2024/1668
Union representative
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 30.May.2024
Last application date 20.Jun.2024 11:59 PM CEST
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