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Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

PhD Research Fellow in Semiconducting Complex Oxides for Next Generation Electronics

Deadline: 29.02.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society. 

Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN) is an interdisciplinary focus field for material and energy research at the University of Oslo. 

SMN has focused on basic research in renewable energy and environmentally friendly use of fossil energy sources. The center consists of research groups from the Department of Physics and the Department of Chemistry, has about 100 employees from around the world and manages more than 80 projects funded by the EU, the RCN and others.

About the position

Position as PhD Research Fellow in Materials Science available at Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN)Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

Starting date no later than October 1, 2024.

The fellowship period is 3 years.

A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that may consist of teaching, supervision duties, and/or research assistance. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the department.

Job description

With the semiconductor industry getting close to the inherent limits of conventional silicon technology, there is a strong interest in designing and implementing new materials that can push and move the field beyond Moore’s law. A range of different strategies show great promise, including the use of complex oxides to enhance existing functionalities or generate completely new ones.

The current paradigm in transistor technologies makes use of metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs), usually based around doped silicon and a high-k insulator. This choice of materials offer several advantages with respect to processing and cost, but there are certainly other materials that can be used to enhance functionality and revolutionize the field. This paradigm-shift becomes a necessity when scaling of silicon is no longer an option, and we are rapidly approaching this crossroad.

A variety of challenges arise when moving to other material systems, most notably the difficulty of implementing more complex materials of sufficient quality in a cost-effective way and on a low thermal budget. At the research group for Nanostructures and Functional Materials (NAFUMA), we develop methods for the integration of complex oxides in electronic model systems. This is carried out using the atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique. ALD is a variant of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) where gaseous precursors are sequentially pulsed into the reactor, opening for self-limiting growth with extreme control of thin film thickness, conformality and uniformity. NAFUMA has taken a leading role in this development, and currently collaborates with several major industry players in the field.

In this PhD Research Fellowship, we seek a candidate who will take part in the development of new functional materials that shows promise in the coming electronics paradigm based on active oxides. We have already developed and implemented processes for complex oxide metals and insulators/ferroelectrics, and now seek to complete the trio by unlocking the potential of complex oxide semiconductors. This will enable full epitaxial integration of functional MOS/MFS-stacks.

The candidate will have the possibility to choose their own focus area within the field, in cooperation with group seniors. Depending on the candidate’s background and preferences, the project can be designed to have various focus on synthesis and characterisation of functional properties of functional properties.

Relevant tasks may be a combination of:

  • Development of novel ALD-processes for functional complex oxide semiconductors by ALD
  • Synthesis of novel precursors for use in complex oxide ALD processes
  • In-depth structural characterization of epitaxial complex oxide thin films, e.g. using x-ray diffraction techniques such as reciprocal space mapping
  • In-depth functional characterization of semiconducting complex oxide thin films, e.g. using 4-point probe and Hall measurements
  • Use of large facilities (synchrotrons, neutron sources) for in situ and in operando studies of semiconducting complex oxide thin films

This Phd Research Fellowship is funded by the Academia Agreement with the aim to develop new materials and material implementations for future generation electronics.

The PhD Research Fellow will be closely knit with the supervisors other projects and focuses, and in several cases work in a large team with colleagues at the University of Oslo and partners across Europe.

Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN) is an interdisciplinary centre, collaboration between five research groups in physics and chemistry, and spearheads the MN Faculty's efforts for sustainable energy solutions. The Centre comprises UiO’s focus on renewable energy, materials science, and nanotechnology.

We seek a candidate that wants to pave the road as they explore, guided by a research group in the forefront of the field.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in physics, chemistry or materials science
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Candidates without a Master’s degree have until 30 June, 2023 to complete the final exam
  • The position's subject area may require licensing under the Norwegian Export Control Act. In order to be considered for the position, it is a prerequisite that UiO must be able to be granted such licence. Må også lenke til denne siden.

Desired qualifications:

  • Experience with thin film deposition of inorganic materials, preferably by atomic layer deposition or chemical vapor deposition
  • Experience with structural and/or functional characterization of thin films, e.g. using XRD, XPS, TEM, PPMS, ellipsometry, AFM and/or 4-point probes and Hall measurement instrumentation
  • Knowledge on semiconductors, and preferably complex oxide semiconductors

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educa-tional system
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. 

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position.

For more information see here.

Personal skills

  • We seek a candidate who is flexible, good at taking initiative and has excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Having to work in a setting with many co-workers, we seek a candidate who enjoys working in a team

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement 
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter - statement of motivation and research interests. The cover letter must describe how the candidates competence fits with the desired qualifications and what types of relevant tasks you most desire to explore in the PhD.
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma and transcripts of records
  • Up to one letter of recommendation from a direct supervisor/mentor
  • Documentation of English proficiency if applicable
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system (please follow the link “Apply for this job”). Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

UiO has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

For further information about the position please contact:

  • Associate Professor Henrik H. Sønsteby, phone: +47 92097702, e-mail: henrik.sonsteby@kjemi.uio.no

For technical questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact:

  • HR Adviser Olga Holmlund, e-mail: olga.holmlund@mn.uio.no

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