Postdoc in the field of interface mechanics and adhesion

Materials science and technology are our passion. With our cutting-edge research, Empa's around 1,100 employees make essential contributions to the well-being of society for a future worth living. Empa is a research institution of the ETH Domain.
The Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures explores novel thin film depostion strategies for interface engineering and probes the mechanical properties of small scale structures and interfaces. We are looking for a postdoc motivated to contribute to the development of programmable metal-polymer interfaces and explore different possibilities for changing adhesion in response to external triggers. As part of an internal collaboration, the researcher is responsible for the fabrication and characterization of model interfaces with incorporated trigger mechanisms, followed by quantitative adhesion analysis to validate trigger efficiency. Upon mutual interest the responsibilities will be extended to adhesion measurements in-situ during trigger exposure, the exploration of alternative trigger mechanisms and application cases.

Your tasks

  • Plan and conduct experiments to modify the adhesion of metal-polymer interfaces
  • Interface fabrication using various deposition techniques, notably atomic layer deposition and magnetron sputtering
  • Characterization of interfaces by microscopy techniques, adhesion testing and interpretation of results
  • Publish high-quality scientific publications as well as work in close collaboration with industrial and academic partners from Europe
  • Supervision of undergraduate and PhD students
  • Contribution to proposal writing

Your profile

  • PhD degree in material science, physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering or related fields
  • Experience in thin film deposition and experimental interface mechanics and characterization is desirable
  • Interest in sustainable materials development with a potential for industrial implementation
  • Fluency in English (written and oral) is a pre-condition, knowledge of German is an asset
  • Self-motivated, critical-thinking, open-minded and communicative, with a strong interest to work in an interdisciplinary research environment

Our offer

We offer an international, highly stimulating research environment with excellent infrastructure for personal and professional development. The laboratory is equipped with state of the art equipment including a complete cleanroom processing line for lithography, state of the art thin film deposition facilities, high level of materials analysis facilities, and in situ micromechanical instrumentation. You will be working at Empa in Thun (near Bern). The city is situated in a beautiful area near the mountains in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. The starting date is as soon as possible or upon mutual agreement. The project duration is 1 year.
We live a culture of inclusion and respect. We welcome all people who are interested in innovative, sustainable and meaningful activities - that's what counts.
We look forward to receiving your complete online application including a letter of motivation, CV, certificates, diplomas and contact details of two reference persons. Please submit these exclusively via our job portal. Applications by e-mail and by post will not be considered.
Cristina Marinoni, Bereichspersonalleiterin / HR Partner


  Dr. Barbara Putz
Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials & Nanostructures

Your future place of work

Feuerwerkerstrasse 39
3602 Thun

Empa as an employer

Innovative, sustainable, meaningful activities
Creating added value for society
International, multicultural working environment
Freedom to create and develop
Culture of inclusion and respect
Excellent balance between different areas of life
Multiple award-winning and certified employer
Benefits for rail, mobile, childcare, catering, etc.