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PhD Position in Materials Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, 3D Electron Diffraction Project – Nov 2021

Stockholm University (SU)


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Nov 5, 2021 23:59 (GMT +2)

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Stockholm University invites applications for Ph.D. position to investigate zeolites and metal-organic frameworks by 3D electron diffraction (3D ED), at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Sweden – Nov 2021

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General Info

Position: PhD Position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Deadline to Apply: November 5, 2021(GMT +2)
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 1 Year
Salary: According to Standard Norms

Prof. Zou’s Group
Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry
Stockholm University (SU)

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Qualification Details

In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Chemistry is valid. Those studies should include at least one specialized course or a thesis in the research subject. In order to facilitate the evaluation of merits and suitability for the PhD studies your curriculum vitae (CV) should contain information about the extent and focus of the academic studies. The quantity (as part of an academic year) and the quality mark of courses in chemistry and physics are of particular interest. Please, state titles of undergraduate theses and project works.

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.


The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates’ documented knowledge in a relevant field of research, written and oral proficiency in both Swedish and English, the capacity for analytical thinking, the ability to collaborate, as well as creativity, initiative, and independence. The assessment will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate’s written motivation for seeking the position.

A short list will be set up and interviews with the top candidates will be carried out at the department or via internet.

Economic support for the PhD studies is guaranteed for full time studies during the time period agreed on in the individual study plan. The studies do normally mean four years full time studies. You are encouraged to contact the project leader for more information about the project.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: and regulations.

Responsibilities/Job Description

This PhD project aims at developing and applying new 3D ED methods for studying MOFs and zeolites, espcially how guest orgnaic molecules can be captured in the pores and their interactions with the framework (host). The information will be used for understanding the properties and designing new materials with improved performances. The main tasks of the PhD candidate include 1) structural analysis of novel MOFs and zeolites; 2) developing sample preparation and data collection strategies for locating guest molecules in the pores and studying the host-guest interactions; 3) design and synthesis of new MOF crystalline sponges that can both selectively and effectively capture organic molecules; 4) applying the new MOF crystalline sponges to capture molecules from drugs and natural products and perform their structural analysis. The crystalline sponge method will allow structural analysis of compounds with extremely low quantity.

The student will be part of a large group and in close collaboration with researchers from academia and industry. She/he should have a strong collaborative and communication skill, be self-motivated and able to work as part of a team. The applicant should also have excellent skills in the English language, both written and spoken. Knowledge on MOFs, zeolites, crystallography, programming, or transmission electron microscopy is desired but not necessary. The candidate should have a Master or equivalent degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or Materials Sciences. For more information see Zou’s homepage:

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: SU FV-3417-21
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Project proposal/Research proposal describing:– why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement– what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 6 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position.

About the Project

Project description

Project title: Investigation of zeolites and metal-organic frameworks by 3D electron diffraction (3D ED)

Supervisors: Prof. Xiaodong Zou (main supevisor); Dr. Zhehao Huang (MMK, co-supervisor)

Zeolites and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are crystalline nanoporous materials with well-defined pore structures. They can act as molecular sieves based on their size and shape, and have wide applications for example in selective adsorption, separation and catalysis. Knowning the structure of porous materials is crucial for understanding their properties and identifying their application areas. In the studies of nanoporous materials, important scientific questions are: which molecules can be captured in the pores, where they are located, and how they interact with the zeolite/MOF framework. X-ray diffraction is currently the most important technique for such studies but requires large crystals, which are often difficult to synthesize. 3D electron diffraction (3D ED) can be used for studying extremely small crystals. During the last decade, Prof. Zou’s group has developed new 3D ED methods for structure determination of nano-sized crystals, and is internationally leading in structural characterization of zeolites and MOF materials.

About the Department

The Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry.(MMK) is, with about 160 employees, one of the largest departments at the Faculty of Natural sciences at Stockholm University. A significant part of the teaching activities is at the undergraduate level with courses in General, Physical, Inorganic, and Analytical Chemistry. The teaching at the graduate level focuses on the master programs in Sustainable Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry. Research activities of MMK focus primarily on materials, and include different classes such as ceramics, glasses, self-assembled, porous materials, and soft matter. The projects often encompass synthesis, and characterization by X-ray, neutron diffraction, electron microscopy, solid-state NMR, and computer modelling of materials with a potential for various applications. Research activities in the area of Analytical Chemistry focus on developing advanced analytical techniques for studies of organic compounds and biomolecules.

About the Employer: Stockholm University (SU)

Terms of Employment

Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

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Contact details

For more information, please contact the PI, Prof. Xiaodong Zou For general information about the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, please contact the Head of the Department, Professor Gunnar Svensson,

Union representatives

Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64,, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89, (SEKO), and PhD student representative,

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