The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is the largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. We perform cutting-edge research in the fields of future technologies, energy and climate, health innovation and fundamentals of nature. By performing fundamental and applied research, we work on sustainable solutions for major challenges facing society, science and economy. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore, about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether, PSI employs 2200 people.

For our Solid State Chemistry Group, Laboratory for Multiscale Materials Experiments we are looking for a

PhD Student in search for 2D ferromagnetism at room temperature

Your tasks

This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research in the field of 2D ferromagnetism. The project focuses on the discovery of novel ferromagnetic 2D van der Waals materials with enhanced transition temperature. During this research, the work will be split into several stages, as it follows: synthesis and crystal growth of these materials, analysis of the physical properties of the bulk crystals, study of these compounds using neutron diffraction and spectroscopy to clarify the origin of the ferromagnetic phases in these compounds, and the study of the atomically thin 2D crystals using state-of-the-art synchrotron techniques to understand the ferromagnetic properties towards the 2D limit.

You will be embedded at the interface of Laboratory for Multiscale Materials Experiments and Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging, in a highly stimulating collaborative research environment. Moreover, you will be enrolled in the SNI PhD School of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, joining a group of young researchers working in nanoscience.

Your tasks will be:
  • PhD in experimental physics
  • Sample synthesis and crystal growth and laboratory-based characterization of 2D materials
  • Neutron diffraction and spectroscopy studies of the materials investigated
  • Support teaching activities at the institution of the thesis advisor (University of Basel)
  • Collaborate with partners and dissemination of results at national and international workshops and conferences
  • Writing of proposals for beamtime at large scale facilities and experimental reports
  • Engage in the scientific activities/events organized by the Swiss Nanoscience

Your profile

  • Master degree in physics, materials science, physical chemistry or related discipline, with a very strong background in physics
  • Good knowledge of solid-state chemistry and/or condensed matter physics
  • Some experience in synthesis of inorganic materials, and/or neutron diffraction and spectroscopy, with a good knowledge of magnetism
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English
  • Ability to work independently and collaborate effectively with both theoretical and experimental partners
  • Programming / data analysis skills

We offer

Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on-site infrastructure. 

For further information, please contact Dr Monica Ciomaga Hatnean, phone +41 56 310 26 14.

Please submit your application online by 15 September 2024 (including addresses of referees) for the position as a PhD Student (index no. 3703-00).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Luca Simen, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland