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

PhD Research Fellow in Thin Film Deposition of Complex Oxides for Next Generation Electronics

Deadline: 28.02.2023

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.


The Department of Chemistry is Norway's largest institution within research and education in chemistry. Our research excels internationally and we educate students to a wide variety of jobs in industry, academia, research institutions, schools and public administration. Our research ranges from the core topics of chemistry to applied science within in environmental, health, energy and materials.


The Department has extensive contacts with industry, research and educational institutions at home and abroad. As partner in the Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology our researchers contributes to a significant interdisciplinary efforts in cooperation with the Department of Physics.


The Department of Chemistry has its own school laboratory as a great resource for teachers, public outreach and the didactics of chemistry.

Job description

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

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

The starting date is no later than October 1, 2023.

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.

More about the position

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, or even integrate new, functionalities.

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 group for Nanostructures and Functional Materials (NAFUMA) at the Department of Chemistry, UiO, 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 fellowship, the candidate will take part in the development of new functional materials that shows promise in the coming electronics paradigm based on active oxides. This can be complex oxide semiconductors, ferroelectrics, metals or super high-k dielectrics.

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 oxides by ALD.
  • Synthesis of novel precursors for use in complex oxide ALD processes
  • In-depth structural characterization of complex oxide thin films, e.g. using x-ray diffraction techniques such as reciprocal space mapping
  • In-depth functional characterization of complex oxide thin films, e.g. using physical property measurement systems
  • Use of large facilities (synchrotrons, neutron sources)

We seek a dedicated student 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 chemistry, physics or materials science
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • Solid understanding of structure-property relations in crystalline inorganic materials

Candidates without a Master’s degree have until 30 June, 2023 to complete the final exam.

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 FE-analyzers
  • Knowledge on functional complex oxides such as high-k dielectrics, ferroelectrics, ferromagnets or semiconductors

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 license.

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 educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in a Scandinavian language is required for a 4-year fellowship including teaching duties

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 and here

Personal skills

We are seeking a candidate who is:

  • flexible
  • good at taking initiative
  • has excellent communication and interpersonal skills

We offer

  • Salary NOK 501 200 – 544 400 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 candidate’s 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, transcripts of records
  • Documentation of English proficiency (applies for non-EU citizens)
  • 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 of 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.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

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 regarding this position and recruitment process, please contact:

  • Researcher 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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