PhD Scholarship in Engineering Doped Quantum Dots for Efficient Solar Cell Devices

DTU Chemistry
Thursday 11 Jan 18

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A 3-year PhD scholarship in the field of nanomaterial chemistry is available at the Department of Chemistry. The project is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research Foundation Sapere Aude Programme and will be under management of Senior Researcher Kaibo Zheng. The PhD scholarship is expected to start on the 1st of April or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful candidate can join a newly established, young research team, which is a part of the NanoChemistry Group, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry section at DTU Chemistry.

Project Description
An efficient and cost-effective conversion of solar energy into electricity always remains a daunting task in solar cell application.  Conventional solar cell materials can only convert small fraction of the solar photons with energy matching the characteristic bandgap leading to the Shockley-Queisser thermodynamic efficiency limit of ~32 %. There is one possible approach to break such efficiency limit: To utilize excessive energy above their optical band gap by colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) through so called multiple exciton generation (MEG).  However, the current device efficiency of QDs solar cells is far below expectation. The bottlenecks mainly originate from inefficient charge transportation and poor collection efficiency of MEG.  The emerging transition metal ion (e.g. Mn2+ and Co2+, etc.) doping in colloidal QDs (CQDs) raises new opportunities to overcome those limitations. Those doping states exhibit long lifetime and large density of states (DOS). The aim of the project is therefore to engineer the doping of transition metal ions into CQDs to explore their full potential as building blocks for highly efficient solar cells. 
The successful candidate should have a Master’s degree in chemistry, materials science or physics, specifically with:

  • Strong experimental background of material chemistry or inorganic chemistry.
  • Prior experience of optoelectronic nanomaterials especially colloidal QDs including material synthesis and basic characterization (e.g. SEM, TEM, XRD, UV-Vis and PL spectroscopies) is preferred.
  • Experience in time-resolved optical spectroscopies will be considered as a merit but is not essential.
  • Full-hearted, hard-working, and highly motivated commitment to research.
  • Independence and cooperation with the research team.
  • Excellence in both written and spoken English. 
Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.
Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are following the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment for a PhD student is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information about the project, the applicants should contact Dr. Kaibo Zheng, email: Alternatively, the Head of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry Section, Professor Jens Ø. Duus, email:
Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.
Please submit your online application no later than 20 February 2018.
Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • At least one recommendation letter from previous supervisor(s)
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.