Ph.D. position (m/f/d) Advanced Sustainable Thermoelectrics for Waste Heat Recovery-Materials

Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW)

The Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden e. V. (IFW Dresden) conducts modern materials research on a scientific basis for the development of new and sustainable materials and technologies. The institute employs an average of 500 people from over 40 nations and, in addition to its scientific tasks, is dedicated to promoting young scientists and engineers. Further information at:  http://www.ifw-dresden.de.

The Institute for Metallic Materials (Prof. K. Nielsch) of the IFW Dresden offers a

PhD position (m/f/d)

on the following topic: Advanced Sustainable Thermoelectrics for Waste Heat Recovery - Materials

Project Overview:

Thermoelectric technology represents a promising avenue for using waste heat recovery to significantly improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, supporting the imperative for a sustainable future. This research addresses the critical need to optimize the conversion of waste heat into usable energy, contributing to a cleaner and more efficient energy landscape. However, traditional materials like Bi2Te3 rely on toxic and rare elements, raising sustainability concerns, and their limited temperature range makes them unsuitable for many waste heat sources. Thus, it is essential to find sustainable materials with higher performance potential. Recent research indicates that sustainable materials, such as p-type MgAgSb, and n-type Mg3(Sb,Bi)2 and Mg2(Si,Sn), offer such potential. This project focuses on enhancing the performance of these materials and integrating them into high-performance modules capable of achieving high conversion efficiency from room temperature up to 550°C.

In pursuit of this research, we are inviting one PhD student to join our interdisciplinary team. The successful candidate will receive comprehensive training in the synthesis of thermoelectric materials, utilizing techniques such as powder metallurgy processing. Their primary responsibility will be to produce high-quality and timely scientific results aligned with our research project objectives. Additionally, they will disseminate their findings through publications in high-impact scientific journals and presentations at relevant conferences. Their contributions will be pivotal in advancing next-generation thermoelectric materials and enhancing the efficiency of future energy systems.


We welcome applications from individuals with an MSc degree (or those expecting to graduate before the below mentioned starting date) in Solid-state Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, or other related fields. Prior experience with thermoelectric materials is a valuable asset. We seek candidates with a strong passion for cutting-edge research, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work effectively in a team.

What we offer:

The selected candidate will receive a salary following TV-L rules (E13, 70%). The initial appointment is for one year, with the possibility of an extension for an additional two years based on performance. The anticipated start date is December 1, 2024, with the flexibility to start one month earlier or up to 3 months later.

In line with our commitment to diversity, we encourage qualified persons of all gender to apply, as we aim to increase representation in the field of science. Additionally, disabled applicants (m/f/d) will receive preferential consideration if they meet the requisite qualifications. Promising candidates will be invited for an interview.

Please send your application with informative documents (letter of motivation, CV, relevant transcripts, training certificates, and contact details for at least two professional references) exclusively in electronic form and in a PDF file (other formats will not be considered), citing the reference number 045-24-2001, no later than 30.08.2024 to bewerbung(at)ifw-dresden.de

If you have further questions about the position please contact Prof. Kornelius Nielsch (k.nielsch(at)ifw-dresden.de).