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PhD position (f/m)

Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. Mainz, 23.11.2016


PhD positions at the
Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research
in Mainz

The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) ranks among the top research centers in the field of polymer and interface science world-wide. In the department ’Physics at Interfaces’ we investigate wetting of nanostructured and super liquid repellent surfaces. Our general aim is to derive quantitative descriptions of soft matter interfacial phenomena on the micro- and the nanometer scale. The methods we use include laser scanning confocal microscopy, high speed video microscopy, scanning probe techniques, light and X-ray scattering plus the standard tools for characterization and production of surfaces and interfaces and their interaction with liquids.
We are welcoming applications for PhD positions for a three-year program (salary according to public service salary scale TVÖD E13, 50 %).
Confocal microscopy to study dynamic solid-liquid-gas contact lines. The spreading of a liquid on a solid surface is one of the fundamental processes in everyday life, relevant for many industrial applications. Despite the significance, the physics of processes at the moving contact line are far from being understood. One reason for our poor understanding is a lack of techniques which have the required space and time resolution. The objective of the project is to drive existing confocal microscopes to their limits and beyond. Time and spatial resolution should be improved as much as possible. The movement of contact line of pure and complex liquids on homogeneous, structured and heterogeneous surfaces will be imaged and quantitatively analyzed. (link to further information)
Freezing on surfaces and under confinement. Freezing of liquids in confinement is not only of fundamental interest. It also plays a significant role in Geology, food science or construction. The objective of the thesis is to better understand the kinetics of crystallization of liquids under confinement e.g. homogeneous nucleation often prevails over heterogeneous nucleation. One challenge is to develop a confocal microscope working at temperatures down to -40°C. Using microscopic techniques the dynamics of freezing shall be analyzed. (link to further information)
Potential candidates should have an excellent Master (or equivalent) in physics or engineering, good language and communication skills in English and the readiness to take the extra step of an interdisciplinary approach towards a PhD. Programming skills and knowledge in Optics are welcome. We offer excellent training opportunities in a highly collaborative research environment including physicists, chemists, engineers and material scientists. We provide a broad range of experimental methods, techniques, and specialized as well as soft skill courses. Experienced technical staff is available to support the work.
For application, please submit a motivation letter, curriculum vitae, and your degree certificates and transcripts (including Abitur, or equivalent in one PDF file to
The Max Planck Society intends to increase its proportion of female scientists and expressly encourages women to apply. Applicants with disabilities are preferred if equally qualified.