PhD Scholarship in In Situ Structural Characterization

Tuesday 29 Jun 21

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 15 August 2021
Apply for the job at DTU Nanolab by completing the following form.

Apply online

DTU Nanolab - the National Centre for Nanofabrication and Characterization at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is seeking a PhD student to work on structural characterization of materials under extreme thermal conditions, found, e.g. in manufacturing processes such as additive manufacturing as well as in operating conditions of energy materials, by means of high-end in-situ electron microscopy.

Fundamental understanding of a material’s structure and integrity at the nanoscale is essential for the development of new and improved materials and materials’ processes. We apply (in-situ) electron microscopy, as well as X-ray-based materials characterization techniques, to characterize und understand materials’ behavior under relevant processing and/or operating conditions.

Responsibilities and tasks
The project is part of a new interdisciplinary and highly collaborative research group headed by Prof. Joerg Jinschek (starting at DTU Nanolab on September 1, 2021).


  • Develop reliable solutions (using existing or develop new MEMS technology) and procedures for the application of extreme thermal conditions on the nanoscale;
  • Develop reliable procedures to measure temperature in-situ on the nanoscale;
  • Develop reliable, robust procedures for the in-situ characterization of materials, such as metals and energy materials;
  • Determine nanoscale structural phenomena in chosen materials under the applied thermal conditions;
  • Correlate in-situ observations to macroscale phenomena and processes to develop a fundamental understanding (in collaboration with relevant research activities at DTU).


  • You are interested in working in an interdisciplinary scientific group with a large international network;
  • You are a team player and have a strong talent for interacting in teams and integrating information;
  • You have a fundamental interest in materials structure and properties as well as materials characterization;
  • You want to learn about technology (e.g. MEMS) to develop unique in-situ (heating) stages, in collaboration within Nanolab as well as with industry;
  • You want to learn and apply high-end (in-situ) electron microscopy for materials characterization.

Rapid heating and cooling (with rates in the range 103 -106 K/s) combined with steep thermal transients (up to 107 K/m) are common process and operating conditions of materials in many applications, e.g. in metal based additive manufacturing (AM) processing. For example, in AM these process conditions result in an ‘as built’ microstructure that is highly anisotropic and metastable, compared to conventionally processed parts. Therefore, a careful understanding of AM process conditions and their effect on the resulting microstructure is still needed before the application of AM-parts in (mission) critical applications.

The main task will be to develop a fundamental insight into the effect of extreme thermal conditions on materials’ structure and structural integrity. Specifically, the successful candidate will develop a MEMS-based heating stage to simulate ‘AM like’ process conditions inside a transmission electron microscope (TEM). Further tasks will be to develop the methodology to apply controlled thermal conditions in-situ, including the methodology to control and measure temperature on the nanoscale, as well as to develop the workflow of the actual in-situ experiment. Of primary importance is establishing a robust and reliable platform/solution to run sets of experiment under controlled conditions, also in collaboration with future collaboration partners. The experimental results obtained in the project, together with theoretical models and further materials testing (e.g. microhardness), will be essential to further develop our fundamental understanding needed for improving materials’ processes, here for tailoring materials’ microstructure and targeted properties to enable the application of AM-parts in critical applications. 

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. A Master degree in Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, or Physics is preferred. 

Experiences in materials characterization/diagnostics (especially electron microscopy) as well as with metals and processing are beneficial.

Good communication and writing skills as well as a good command in English is expected.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Joerg Jinschek.

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 workplace during the PhD project will mainly be at DTU Nanolab, b307, Lyngby Campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Joerg Jinschek, email:

You can read more about DTU Nanolab at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 15 August 2021 (Danish 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)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

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

DTU Nanolab is a common infrastructure and research facility located at and fully owned by the Technical University of Denmark, DTU. DTU Nanolab houses a state-of-the-art electron microscopy center, which was inaugurated in Dec. 2007. The work carried out at DTU Nanolab spans the range of basic topographical studies to highly sophisticated analysis of nanoscale materials in hard and soft matter.  

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.