Ph. D. position as part of a European Industrial Doctorate (EID) grant by Ghent University (Ghent, BE) and Deutsche Nanoschicht GmbH (Rheinbach, DE)

The demand of earth’s growing population for cheap and readily available energy requires smart answers to yet unsolved problems. Chemical solutions have to be highly innovative and technologically viable at the same time. Having excellent resources and creating an even greater stream of ideas will therefore be essential in the future.

In particular superconductors offer highest material and energy efficiency in generating and transporting electricity. Highly compact new cable applications and fault current limiters as well as lightweight systems for generators become possible.

The department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Ghent University (Belgium), research group SCRiPTS, (, has activities in the broad field of solid state chemistry related to the synthesis, properties and applications of inorganic (ceramic) materials, both as bulk, nanomaterials and thin films. Current research topics related to this project include:

  • Chemical Solution deposition (CSD) of ceramics, chemical solution coating deposition via ink-jet printing. Materials of interest : superconducting perovskites and buffer layers for production of coated conductors.
  • Use of bottom-up chemical synthesis approaches for the synthesis of ceramic nanoparticles/suspensions.

In cooperation with D-Nano GmbH, a subsidiary of BASF SE (, the Department for Inorganic & Physical Chemistry at Ghent University (, is seeking an excellent research fellow for a European Union funded Horizon 2020 research program on applied high temperature superconductivity with
the objective to obtain a Ph.D. in Chemistry/Material Sciences.

The position is the result of a recently funded European Industrial Doctorate (EID) project under a Marie Curie Initial Training Network entitled “Synthesis and Formulation for Nanoparticle modified YBCO (SynFoNY)”. SynFoNY is a collaborative and interdisciplinary research project carried by a R&D Verbund between two academic and three industrial partners, with University of Ghent and D-Nano ( as the major contributors. Associated parties are the University of Turku, Finland, BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany), the world’s largest chemical company, and High Throughput Experimentation GmbH (HTE, Heidelberg, Germany), another 100 % subsidiary of BASF SE.

The research objective of SynFoNY is to develop a fundamental understanding of ex situ pinning effects in YBCO superconductive thin films, encompassing not only the synthesis of highly monodisperse dielectric nanoparticles and their formulation as printable or coatable YBCO inks, but also their application in R2R processed HTS tapes. Ensuring the reproducibility of an optimized pinning effect, and thereby leveraging the commercialization of YBCO superconductive tapes, will be the ultimate goal of this EID programme.

The project is fully funded for three years and the salaries are highly competitive (Horizon 2020 funding including mobility grant). This project will provide unique training opportunities in project-relevant techniques, and in related transferrable skills offered as a mix of industrial and academic training. The industrial training will give the fellow
researchers unique insights into a more pragmatic approach to research where businessrelated factors play a more important role in the decision making process. The researchers will spend at least 50% of their time in the laboratories of the industrial partner, shared among D-Nano, HTE and BASF SE. Since academic and industrial partners are located in different countries, mobility and the willingness to change location after completion of
certain project phases are required.

We are inviting applications from excellent graduates in Chemistry, Materials Sciences, Physics or Chemical Engineering, with scientific interest in and preferably practical experience in ink formulation, nanoparticle synthesis, and/or coatings. A recently obtained Master of Science level is mandatory; researchers can be of any nationality (except Belgian). According to the Horizon 2020 Marie Curie regulations, at the time of recruitment by the host
organization (UGent), researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activities (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediate prior to the reference date.

We expect the following skills from applicants:

  • Excellent graduate in Chemistry, Materials Sciences, Physics or Chemical Engineering with special focus on
    • Particle technology, nanomaterials
    • Metalorganic solution and suspension chemistry,
    • Chemical solution deposition,
    • Reel-to-reel coating technology,
    • Thin film growth and crystallization and/or
    • Electrical and physical property analysis
  • ability to conduct industrial research in a highly interdisciplinary and international environment
  • Interest in economic aspects of industrial research and product development
    • MBA or similar studies and/or
    • extracurricular activities, e. g. student consulting experience
  • high mobility for international studies in Germany, Belgium and Finland
  • very good knowledge of the English language, both written and verbal

We are looking forward to receiving your CV and application letter, which should include publication list/transcripts and grades. Applications should be sent by email, before October 31, 2016 to, using “Application SynFoNY” in the subject line. The PhD student could start in Q1 2017, with a candidate applying for a second position to D-Nano starting mid 2017.

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