PhD position: Fabrication of novel semiconductor nanostructures via electrochemical atomic force microscopy

The ultimate goal of the group 3D Photovoltaics is to impact on solar energy harvesting and to push the frontier of nano-PV. Our approach is to aim towards the achievement of low-cost / large-throughput highly efficient PV, with semiconductor nanostructures as building blocks. On one hand, 3D-PV group focuses on the fundamental understanding of the potential benefits and/or limitations of semiconductor nano-structures when used for solar energy conversion. On the other hand, non-traditional conversion principles enabled by the nanowire geometry are also explored. For this, fabrication at low cost and performance of nanostructure-based PV are theoretically and experimentally approached.

Job description

Semiconductor nanostructures have recently shown great potential for achieving efficient solar energy conversion due to their sub-wavelength features and intrinsic light management properties. This project focuses on the development of a new cost-effective technique for the fabrication of NW-based solar cells, with an emphasis on III-V semiconductor materials (i.e. GaAs, InP etc). This new technique is based on local nanoscale electro-deposition using a scanning probe microscope in a liquid environment. This technique offers great freedom in geometry design in 3D of semiconductor nanostructures, which in turn have a direct impact on optical properties.

As a PhD student, you will investigate the development of III-V semiconductor NWs by 3D electro-deposition, which spans from crystal synthesis, shape designing, electrical doping and the creation of hetero and homostructures. As ultimate goal, the fabrication of solar cell devices is envisioned.
The project includes cleanroom fabrication, nano-electrochemistry, optical and electrical characterization and computational modelling.


FOM Institute AMOLF performs leading fundamental research on physics of Biomolecular Systems and Nanophotonics; two areas with key potential for technological innovations. The Institute contributes to knowledge transfer to industry and society and trains talented young researchers. AMOLF is located at Science Park Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and engages approximately 140 scientists and 70 support staff. See also


You hold or will receive an MSc degree in experimental materials science, physics, chemistry or similar. Good verbal and written communication skills in English are required.

Conditions of employment

When fulfilling a PhD position at the FOM Foundation, you will get the status of junior scientist.
You will have an employee status and can participate in all the employee benefits FOM offers. You will get a contract for four years. Your salary will be up to a maximum of 2.834 euro gross per month.The salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8 percent and an end-of-year bonus of 8.33 percent.
You are supposed to have a thesis finished at the end of your four year term with FOM.
A training programme is part of the agreement. You and your supervisor will make up a plan for the additional education and supervising that you specifically need. This plan also defines which teaching activities you will be responsible (up to a maximum of ten percent of your time). The conditions of employment of the FOM Foundation are laid down in the Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres (Cao-Onderzoekinstellingen), more exclusive information is available at this website under Personeelsinformatie (in Dutch) or under Personnel (in English).
General information about working at FOM can be found in the English part of this website under Personnel. The ‘FOM job interview code’ applies to this position.


Dr. Esther Alarcon-Llado, Group leader 3D Photovoltaics, 31 20 754 71 00.



You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below. Please quote vacancy # 1602-1E.

Please send your:
– resume;
– motivation on why you want to join the group (maximum one page).
Applications without this motivation will not be taken into account. However, with this motivation your application will receive our full attention.

Online screening may be part of the selection.
Commercial response to this ad is not appreciated.

Please use the online form for applications.

Apply here

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