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The Graduate School "Materials for Solar Energy Conversion (MatSEC)" is looking for:


Kennziffer: MatSEC 2017/3

MatSEC is a member of Dahlem Research School (DRS), which provides a structured graduate education at Freie University Berlin.
MatSEC combines experiment and theory in the areas of material science, crystallography, solid state physics, solid state chemistry, and scientific computing to develop structure-property relations which allow for the design of custom-made materials for solar energy conversion.

Topic of the doctoral thesis:
Structural trends in wide bandgap Cu-Zn-IV-chalcogenide based semiconductors

The wide bandgap quaternary chalcogenide semiconductors have drawn lately wide interest for their nonlinear optical properties and potential application as solar-cell absorbers, photocatalysts for solar water splitting, and high-temperature thermoelectric materials.


The PhD-students research for this project will be focused on the synthesis of Cu-Zn-IV-chalcogenide based polycrystalline powders, and their structural characterisation using a combination of both lab-based and large scale facilities - based techniques.

The aim of the research is to gain a deeper insight into the structural characteristics of the materials and to get a profound understanding of the structure-properties relationship. For the promising and competitive applications, it is essential to have a comprehensive knowledge of the chemical, physical, optical and electronic properties of a solid material which are to a high degree determined by its crystal structure.


  • Completed master’s degree in materials science, physics, chemistry, geo-science or related subjects
  • In depth knowledge in solid state physics or solid state chemistry
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Good verbal and written communication skills in English
  • High ability to communicate

  • HZB grants PhD scholarship for the development of qualified junior scientists. The Phd scholarship is limited to 3 years. The amount of the PhD scholarship complies with the valid PhD scholarship allowances of DFG.

    We particularly welcome applications from women. Preference will be given to handicapped applicants provided equal suitability.

    Have we sparked your interest? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 17.03.2017

    Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH
    Hahn-Meitner-Platz 1
    14109 Berlin