PhD position: Electronic Properties of Complex van der Waals Heterostructures from First-Principles

Friday 24 Jan 20

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The section for Computational Atomic-scale Materials Design (CAMD) at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), is seeking an outstanding and highly motivated candidate for a PhD position within the area of first-principles modeling of the electronic structure of 2D materials and their heterostructures. The position is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

The successful candidates will develop and use computational frameworks, employing a combination of simpler models and first-principles calculations, to describe and design the basic electronic structure, in particular the quasi-particle band energies and excitons, of general van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures. vdW heterostructures have recently pushed the limits for electronic structure engineering and are currently redefining several concepts from solid state physics. One goal of the PhD project is to develop a methodology that allows for quantitative prediction of band alignment and optical excitation energies in complex vdW heterostructures containing dozens of (differently oriented) 2D materials. The project will also involve the use of workflows for automatized high-throughput computations and machine learning algorithms for pre-screening candidate materials and identifying the most promising structures for specific applications such as infrared photo-detectors and multi-junction solar cells. As an example of a recent high-throughput work from the group, see the
Computational 2D Materials Database.  

CAMD offers an international and scientifically stimulating working environment at the Department of Physics, DTU, located in the northern Copenhagen area. The group has strong connections to local experimental groups within the VILLUM Center for the Science of Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals and the Center for Nanostructured Graphene.    

Substantial computational resources are available for the project through the DTU-supercomputer facility

The successful candidate will have obtained excellent grades in his/her Bachelor and Master educations. A solid knowledge of quantum mechanics and solid state physics, and ideally also aspects of many-body theory, is a requirement. Some experience with programming (e.g. Pyhton, C, C++) is preferred. Furthermore, the candidate should be highly motivated and willing to work as part of a team. Good communication skills in both spoken and written English are a requirement. 

Approval and Enrollment of PhD Students
The scholarship is subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled at the Physics PhD School at DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrollment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see PhD at DTU

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Kristian S. Thygesen. 

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. 

The position, which involves a limited teaching obligation, includes salary and travel grants covering the three years it takes to obtain a PhD degree at a Danish university. Salary level is approximately 50.000 Euro/year incl. pension.  

The position is available immediately, but the starting date is flexible. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2020.

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Further information
Should you have any queries regarding the positions, please contact Professors Kristian S. Thygesen,

You can read more about DTU Physics at

Application procedure

Please submit your online application no later than 1 March 2020 (23:59 local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply. 

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