PhD student in Energy materials physics, interfaces in solar cells

Published: 2023-04-20

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

The research conducted at the Department of Physics and Astronomy encompasses a wide range of physics topics, distributed over ten divisions. The department is located in the Ångström laboratory and employs nearly 400 people, 125 of whom are doctoral students. It offers a broad physics curriculum to undergraduate and graduate students, participation in nationally and internationally leading projects for researchers, and opportunities for partnership with industry and various outreach activities.

The division of X-ray Photon Science is world-leading in the use of advanced spectroscopy methods. This puts us in the forefront in atomic-level studies of atoms, molecules and condensed matter. This division includes the research programme Condensed Matter Physics of Energy Materials, with a special focus on studies and development of materials, surfaces and interfaces of interest for different energy applications, and therefore also the development of a sustainable society. We are a diverse and collaborating research group that shares the same general goal of unraveling and controlling the mechanisms that take place in complex systems related to photovoltaics, batteries, fuel cells, and catalysis. The doctoral position is placed at the research program Condensed Matter Physics of Energy Materials and the project involves collaborations with specialists in solar cells.

This recruitment is connected to the Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability (WISE, WISE, funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, is the largest-ever investment in materials science in Sweden and will encompass major efforts at Sweden’s foremost universities over the course of 10 years. The vision is a sustainable future through materials science. Read more:

All early-stage researchers recruited into the WISE program will be a part of the WISE Graduate School, an ambitious nationwide program of seminars, courses, research visits, and other activities to promote a strong multi-disciplinary and international network between PhD students, postdocs, researchers, and industry.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University


The successful candidate for this PhD student position will have opportunity to study a variety of solar cell materials using x-ray-based methodology, such as photoemission, and complementary techniques. Within the position, you also have the opportunity to learn how to design materials using different methods and to characterize the solar cells. The candidate will be part of a collaborating research group that share the same general goal of unraveling the functionality in such interesting and challenging energy materials and also develop their performance. Specifically, the work include

  • to use experimental results for understanding the physics that limits the efficiency of energy materials
  • to investigate the geometric structure and electron structure of new perovskite materials, oxides and their interfaces by lab-based and synchrotron light-based X-ray spectroscopic methods as well as additional functional characterizations tools
  • use the new knowledge to give design rules and develop systems for new efficient solar cell materials
  • to write scientific reports and papers and lead some of the experimental activities


To meet the entry requirements for doctoral studies, you must

  • have been awarded a second-cycle qualification in physics, physical chemistry or material science (or related subject) or
  • have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired essentially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.
  • have very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Please note that it is possible to apply for this position before completing the degree as described above. The degree must be completed before employment begins.

Additional qualifications

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, as well as the applicant’s experience and potential within the area of the future duties. 

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University’s rules and guidelines.

About the employment

The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date as agreed. Placement: Uppsala

For further information about the position, please contact: Håkan Rensmo +4670-167 91 45,

UFV-PA 2023/1214 

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  • Placement: Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position
  • Pay: Fixed salary
  • Number of positions: 1
  • Working hours: 100 %
  • Town: Uppsala
  • County: Uppsala län
  • Country: Sweden
  • Union representative: ST/TCO tco@fackorg.uu.seSeko Universitetsklubben seko@uadm.uu.seSaco-rådet
  • Number of reference: UFV-PA 2023/1214