[Neutron] PhD position in Switzerland: Driving forces of metal-insulator transitions in rare earth/transition metal -oxides: Correlation of electronic structure and transport properties

Artur Braun Artur.Braun at empa.ch
Mon Apr 23 15:35:05 CDT 2007

Empa is a Swiss Science and Technology Institution of the ETH-Domain. The Empa Laboratory for High Performance Ceramics and ETH Zürich is offering an exciting position for a

PhD student for fundamental studies on materials for solid oxide fuel cells

“Driving forces of metal-insulator transitions in rare earth/transition metal -oxides: Correlation of electronic structure and transport properties”

The applicant should hold a degree in Physics, Materials Science, or a closely related discipline.

This PhD project is stimulated by the need for better electrode for solid oxide fuel cells - an emerging technology for
environmentally more compatible energy, and for high temperature electrochemical applications in general.
The mechanisms of electrical and thermal transport in ceramic materials at elevated temperatures are complex
and not well understood. At high temperatures, the electric conductivity of ceramics is typically caused by ions
and by polarons. One interesting, empirical observation is that many “good” electrodes are located at the borde
 line between insulators and conductors. Conductivity depends on a delicate balance between defect chemistry
and band structure, which is altered by temperature and oxygen partial pressure.

The material under investigation belongs to the class of strongly correlated fermion systems, which play a role in
superconductivity and colossal magnetoresistance. Advanced X-ray spectroscopy techniques play a significant rol
 in elucidating transport mechanisms in such systems.
The PhD student will adopt these approaches and techniques to address metal-insulator transitions at high
temperatures, including important aspects of defect chemistry.

Our challenging project requires an enthusiastic, self driven experimentalist with a sound theoretical background in
solid state physics, preferably ligand field theory. Participation in experimental campaigns at synchrotron or neutron
radiation sources is mandatory and will require frequent international travel. Hands-on experience with synthesis of
ceramics, electrochemical instrumentation, and spectroscopy and scattering is particularly welcome. Data modelling
may be necessary.
This is a joint Ph.D. project with EMPA and ETH Zürich, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and by th
 European Union. The candidate will be hosted at EMPA’s Fast Ion Conductors Group.
Thesis advisor is Prof. Dr. Ludwig J. Gauckler.

The position is available immediately.

Please direct your application to:
Dr. Artur Braun
Laboratory for High Performance Ceramics 
Überlandstr. 129
CH-8600 Dübendorf


The Fast Ion Conductor Group http://www.empa.ch/plugin/template/empa/613/*/---/l=1 

The ETH Dept. of non-Metallic Materials:  http://www.nonmet.mat.ethz.ch/ 

Contact: Dr. Artur Braun, Phone +41 (0)44 823 48 50, artur.braun at empa.ch 

Dr. Artur Braun, Physicist
Empa - Materials Science & Technology
Laboratory for High Performance Ceramics 
Ueberlandstrasse 129
CH-8600 Duebendorf

Phone: +41 (0)44 - 823 4850
Fax: +41 (0)44 - 823 4150
E-mail: artur.braun at empa.ch

The Year 2007 Will Be The Leonhard Euler Tercentenary.
On April 15th, 2007, the birthday of the great Leonhard Euler
(*1707 Basel +1783 St. Petersburg) will recur for the 300th time.

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FN:Braun, Artur
TEL;WORK:+41 44 823 4850 / 4085
EMAIL;WORK;PREF;NGW:Artur.Braun at empa.ch
KE 126

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