PhD position in Synthesis and Characterisation of van der Waals Materials (1.0 FTE)

PhD position in Synthesis and Characterisation of van der Waals Materials (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
12 May 29 May Utrecht

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Interested in creating the quantum materials of tomorrow? Come join us for your PhD.

Job description

In this PhD position you will perform exploratory work in in the field of van der Waals (vdW) materials. The project studies the synthesis and structural characterisation of crystalline vdW compounds, as well as their magnetic properties. During the project you will use national and international collaborations to help study the materials.

vdW materials are highly anisotropic materials consisting of layers bonded by weak vdW interactions that allow them to be cleaved into very thin specimens, down to a single layer. Magnetic vdW materials are the ideal platform for exploring magnetism in the 2D limit. You will search for novel materials and pinpoint the relation between the materials' crystal structure and their magnetic properties.

You will join the endeavours of QuMat – Materials for the Quantum age, a Dutch research programme under the gravity initiative. QuMat is a collaboration between researchers in Utrecht, Delft, Groningen, Nijmegen, Eindhoven and Twente.

You will join the research group of Machteld Kamminga, who is a newly appointed assistant professor funded through QuMat. She focusses on the synthesis and characterisation of various quantum materials, aiming to bridge the gap between condensed matter physics and materials chemistry. Her expertise and interests are in synthesis / crystal growth, X-ray diffraction and neutron scattering, and magnetic and superconducting properties of materials.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • learn to apply various synthesis / crystal growth techniques to create van der Waals materials;
  • acquire skills in scattering techniques using in-house and international research facilities;
  • gain a deeper understanding of magnetism in 2D;
  • develop academic skills such as effective science communication (written and oral), building collaboration networks and teaching.


Utrecht University


With your ambition and creative skills, you will discover more about the interface between physics and chemistry. To apply for this position, you should meet several or all of the following criteria:

  • a (soon completed) Master’s degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials science or a related field;
  • a good understanding of solid state chemistry and/or solid state physics;
  • strong motivation, flexibility, and the ability to run multiple projects simultaneously;
  • excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written.

Previous hands-on experience with crystal growth, crystal structure determination and refinement will be considered a significant advantage.

Conditions of employment

We offer:
  • The opportunity to participate in the Dutch QuMat research programme consortium;
  • a position for 4 years;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from € 2,541 in the first year to € 3,247 in the fourth year in scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao);
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow. For more information, please visit working at the Faculty of Science

Are you an international applicant? Our International Service Desk can answer your questions about living in the Netherlands as international staff.


Sharing science, shaping tomorrow. A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

At the Faculty of Science, there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about us in this video.

The project will be carried out at the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science. The central research theme of the Debye Institute is “Nanomaterials for Sustainability”. Research focuses on the synthesis, performance and modeling of nanomaterials, often for conversion, storage and more efficient use of energy. The institute provides fundamental knowledge for the development of new technologies that are required for achieving a sustainable future. The institute brings together six research groups from the departments of Chemistry and Physics, and you will be embedded in the Condensed Matter and Interfaces group.

We aim to embed good equality and diversity practices in all our activities so that we can provide an inclusive, welcoming and inspiring place to work and study.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1209775



Heidelberglaan 8, 3584CS, Utrecht

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