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PhD position: Hierarchically Programmable Materials with Propagating Stimulus Responsive Elements and Metamaterial Ultrastructuring

The Excellence Cluster livMatS welcomes applications for a PhD position: Hierarchically Programmable Materials with Propagating Stimulus Responsive Elements and Metamaterial Ultrastructuring | term for filing application: 20.07.2020
Consider making the switch to the University of Freiburg: It is one of the most renowned and strongest research universities in Germany, with a history spanning more than 500 years. You'll engage in top-notch research and teaching with a unique spectrum of disciplines, perspectives, and people - right in the heart of one of Germany's most beautiful cities.
The University of Freiburg's human resources policy is oriented toward the principles of equal opportunity and diversity. The university is committed to the goal of creating a family-friendly university.

The Excellence Cluster livMatS welcomes applications for a

PhD position: Hierarchically Programmable Materials with Propagating Stimulus Responsive Elements and Metamaterial Ultrastructuring
Part-time position (65 %), Start-date: At the earliest possible date.

The Cluster of Excellence livMatS develops completely novel, bioinspired materials systems that adapt autonomously to various environments and harvest clean energy from their surroundings. The intention of these purely technical – yet in a behavioral sense quasi-living – materials systems is to meet the demands of humans with regard to pioneering environmental and energy technologies. The societal relevance of autonomous systems and their sustainability will thus play an important role in their development. The research program of livMatS is characterized by highly interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from a broad range of fields including engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, psychology, the humanities, and sustainability sciences.

This project aims at designing, producing and testing of complex microstructured materials that can alter their structure upon a trigger force such as mechanical force or heat. Specifically, domino-like surfaces (DSS) of ultraelastic structures decorated with high aspect-ratio fin-like structures (similar to an insects scale armor) will be produced. These fins can tip to either side upon a mechanical or thermal stimulus and thus change the properties of the surface. The dynamic range in material properties (stiffness, moduli, etc.) as well as the finesse in physical microstructures required for DSS will be evaluated. The approach requires an in-depth understanding of structure-function relation, precise engineering of material with largely different physicochemical properties as well as cutting-edge high-resolution additive manufacturing techniques.

During the course of this project, you will develop and characterize novel material formulations for 3D printing with high resolution allowing for the fabrication of DSS. This includes multimaterial printing of materials with different properties. You will analyze the printed materials and multimaterial systems in terms of properties such as stiffness, aspect ratios, moduli and in terms of switching behavior and characterize the different structural states of the material.

Qualification profile:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in chemistry, materials science or related subjects
  • Profound knowledge of photopolymerization processes and stereolithography is required
  • Knowledge of organic chemistry as well as polymer chemistry are required
  • Excellent academic track record
  • Excellent English skills in reading and writing
  • You should be a team player with ambitions who can conduct research projects independently
  • You should be a creative mind without causing excessive chaos around you
  • You should be able to structure and document your work properly

Please hand in:

  • Letter of intent detailing why you are interested in this specific project and how your previous research qualifies you for the project (up to 1,500 words)
  • Curriculum Vitae with list of publications (if applicable)
  • Certified copies of your university degree(s) with grades (BA and MA certificate / Diploma certificate and transcript)
  • Short summary of your master’s thesis (up to 1,000 words)
  • Work sample (chapter from recent thesis or journal article, up to 5,000 words)
  • Suggestion of two referees with contact details

The position is currently limited to 65%, with an option for an additional 10% within the group of Prof. Dr. Bastian Rapp.

Your documents will not be returned after the application process. For this reason, please submit copies only.

This position is limited to 36 months. The salary will be determined in accordance with TV-L E13.
We are particularly pleased to receive applications from women for the position advertised here.

Please send your application in English including supporting documents mentioned above citing the reference number 00001111, by 20.07.2020 at the latest. Please send your application to the following address in written or electronic form:
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Freiburger Zentrum für interaktive Werkstoffe
und bioinspirierte Technologien (FIT)
Dr. Monika Schulz
Georges-Köhler-Allee 105
D-79110 Freiburg
Kennwort: livMatS

E-Mail: (please send one PDF file only)
For further information, please contact Herr Dr. Frederik Kotzz on the phone number +49 761 203-7353 or E-Mail
General and legal remarks:
Full-time positions may generally be split up into two or more part-time positions, provided that there are no formal or legal barriers. Candidates are selected in accordance with the provisions of the AGG (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz - German General Equal Treatment Act).
Applicants with disabilities (Schwerbehinderte Menschen) will be given preferential consideration in case of equal qualification.
The department offering the position is liable for the content of this job posting. Textual errors do not constitute a basis for any claims or rights. The relevant human resources department has sole responsibility for all legal transactions made within the context of the selection and hiring process.
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