PhD student (m/f/d)

INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Saarbrücken

The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken, Germany, is an internationally leading center for materials research. We focus on surface and interface phenomena and their exploitation in the development of innovative materials and structures. INM is a scientific partner to national and international research institutions and a provider of research and development for companies throughout the world. INM has about 250 employees and is an institute of the Leibniz Association.

The steadily growing production of printed electronics leads to increasing demands for noble metal particles to print conductive traces. Better understanding of the processes and materials used in printed electronics can reduce the environmental burden and enhance the recovery of the metals at the products’ end of life. The Structure Formation Group at INM has developed a range of new electronic materials, including hybrid particles and composites that combine organic and inorganic components.

A new project funded by the “Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt” focuses on the screen printing of electronics in close collaboration with a company that produces conductive pastes. We study how the electrical conductivity of printed structures can be maximized at minimal metal content by optimizing particle geometry, paste formulation, interface chemistry, and parameters of the sintering process. You will be responsible for the day-to-day execution of this project in close collaboration with our commercial partner. Supported by technical staff, you will prepare and characterize conductive pastes and screen-printed samples in detail using the extensive capabilities at INM that include TGA, SEM/TEM and XRD. You will study both fundamental processes of sintering and interfacial chemistry and develop new materials based on the results. Other projects running or planned in the group focus on release layers and sustainable inkjet inks; you will be part of a dynamic and growing group working on sustainable electronic materials.

We are seeking a material scientist, chemist, chemical engineer, or physicist with experience in material science and characterization for a PhD position at INM to work on this project. The successful candidate will process metal-based microparticles, characterize them, communicate and collaborate with industry, and develop testing protocols. You will identify structure-process-property relations that increase the understanding of these materials, use the insights to improve them, and test their performance in functional devices.

Do not hesitate to apply if this project is the right challenge for you! You will collaborate with a young, interdisciplinary team that attacks the problem of electronic materials from new angles and uses state-of-the-art synthetic and analytical techniques every day. The project will bring you in contact with industrial users and scientists from other fields of research. The ability to clearly and efficiently communicate is of utmost importance.

INM is an equal-opportunity employer with a certified family-friendly policy. We promote the professional opportunities of women and strongly encourage them to apply.


Please send your application via e-mail to the attention of Prof. Tobias Kraus including a detailed CV and at least two references along with a motivation letter before 20 July 2020, tobias.kraus(at)leibniz-inm.de.

Reference: PhD-Position"Sustainable Pastes"

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