Empa - the place where innovation starts

Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.
The Laboratory for Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles is seeking two
PhD Students in the area of Materials Science (Materials Chemistry / Optics)

Project A: In the last years we have focused on the development of fluorescent sensors based on FRET pairs and/or carbon dots. Moreover, we have been working extensively with using aluminosilicate particles for the synthesis of functional composites.

The successful PhD student will be responsible forthe development of stable and bright FRET pairs based on carbon dots for use in solar concentrators. The pairs will be adsorbed on aluminosilicate nanoparticles in order to improve their stability and decrease optical losses. The modified nanoparticles will then be integrated into polymer matrices with optical properties.


Project B: this project, in collaboration with Prof. Eric R. Dufresne (ETHZ), aims at developing biomimicking photonic crystals nanostructures for color generation. The candidate will study, develop and process biomimetic optical solutions to generate colors in materials through the controlled arrangement of nanoscale structures. The aim is to generate photonic structures by replicating bird feather structures through combining techniques such as for example self-assembly, electrospinning and phase separation.

The candidate should have a strong background in Materials Science, Chemistry, or Optics. We are looking for highly motivated persons capable of working in a multidisciplinary environment, driven by scientific curiosity, and open to learn new topics. The PhD candidate needs to be proficient in spoken and written English and have a Master's degree.S/he will participate in writing scientific publications and presenting data at national and international scientific conferences. Previous experience with aluminosilicate nanoparticles, carbon dots, FRET, materials applications in optics, and/or light scattering materials are a bonus.


The work will be carried out at Empa St. Gallen under supervision of Dr. Luciano F. Boesel (project A) and Dr. Fabrizio Spano (project B). The positions will be available from August/September 2017 with a planned project duration of three to four years.

For further information please contact :

Project A: Dr. Luciano F. Boesel, phone +41 58 765 7393, e-mail:luciano.boesel@empa.ch.

Project B: Dr. Fabrizio Spano, phone +41 58 765 70 55, e-mail:fabrizio.spano@empa.ch.

Applications should be accompanied by a CV, a list of publications, a letter of motivation and addresses of two referees. Candidates must choose one project and clearly indicate in the letter of motivation to which project (A or B) they are applying. Applications missing this information will not be considered.

For further information visit our websites www.empa.ch/web/s401 and Empa-Video.

We look forward to receiving your online application. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.

Empa, Esther Z├╝rcher, Human Resources, Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, 9014 St. Gallen, Switzerland.