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.
Within a collaboration between the laboratories of "Joining Technologies and Corrosion" and "Advanced Analytical Technologies", we are looking for a:
PhD Student in Microanalysis of Magnesium Biocorrosion
Project context: The performance, durability and sustainability of engineering materials, as applied in e.g. medical technologies and related sensing devices, critically depend on the (electro)chemical reactivity and passivation (surficial oxide formation) of the metal or alloy surface in its service environment. Within the frame of an FWF-SNF lead agency international collaboration, doctoral positions at Empa and at the Medical university of Graz in Austria will investigate Mg alloy biodegradation processes. To obtain a full understanding of the degradation mechanisms, the scientific challenge is to mimic with advanced in vitro methodologies, the environment-dependent (in contact with bone or tissues) in vivo degradation. For this purpose, the PhD students in Graz will gather information on in vivo implant corrosion and physiological parameters near the implant. Your Tasks:
Your work will focus on the in vitro investigation of the surface reactivity, corrosion mechanisms and corrosion product formation on ultra-high purity Mg and Mg-Zn-Ca alloys. Scientific questions related to the oxidation mechanisms and chemistry/products formed on the surface will be addressed with the help of newly developed flow chambers with online electrochemical/analytic characterization. A further focus of the PhD thesis will be on the corrosion products analysis based on Raman, FTIR spectroscopies. A key scientific question will then be related to new developments of Laser-Ablation based corrosion products composition and trace element microanalysis.
The candidate must have a Master degree in Inorganic, Physical Chemistry, Electrochemistry or Materials Science. We expect a hands-on background in electrochemical and surface-analytical characterization. Excellent communication skills, the ability to work in highly-interdisciplinary research teams, as well as excellent knowledge of English (oral and written), are prerequisites. Knowledge of German and French would be an advantage.
We offer a highly interdisciplinary and dynamic research environment with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, an international network and contacts to academic and industrial partners. The position (100%) is available as of 1st of September 2022 (or later, upon agreement) for 3 years. The PhD student will graduate from the University of Zürich (Advisor: PD Dr. Davide Bleiner).