Computational study of the defect physics and chemistry of hybrid metal halide perovskite and the role of small inorganic ions in stabilizing perovskite solar cells

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

TU Eindhoven (TU/e) is a mid-size technical university located in the heart of the high-tech industry in the Netherlands, named the Brainport region. Eindhoven is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands, and including suburbs it has about 420,000 inhabitants. TU/e is a highly ranked university both in research and education. Our training and research programs are highly regarded and we foster close relationships with companies, organizations and research institutes in the Brainport region and beyond.  Fundamental and applied research are equally valued here. The high rank of the TU/e is due to the impact of its scientific research and also to its scientific co­publications with industry. TU/e is a social and inspiring university with a fine culture. You will quickly feel at home, surrounded by people who share your scientific ambitions. The TU/e currently has nine departments, with over 11,000 students in total.

About the PhD project

Perovskite solar cells have established their place as one of the most exciting solar cell technologies currently under investigation. The efficiency of solar cells based on perovskites has rapidly increased from an initial promising value of 9% in 2012 to over 23%, making this the fastest-advancing solar cell technology. The impressive increase in efficiency has led to an enormous surge in interest. Despite the great potential, perovskite solar cell technology is still in the early stages of commercialization because of long term stability issues. Since the materials and device fabrication are still relatively new, there is a lot room for further research towards increasing efficiency and stability, prolonging lifetime.

The Computational Materials Physics group of Dr. Shuxia Tao at Centre for Computational Energy Research (CCER), at Technology University of Eindhoven is offering a 4 year PhD position for a talented and motivated researcher with a strong interest in computational materials sciences and affinity with computational method and software development.

The research is supported by NWO START-UP grant “finding the small ions in perovskite solar cells”. The PhD candidate (together with a postdoc researcher) is expected to develop an efficient DFT method, Density Functional Tight Binding (DFTB) for metal halide perovskites to study the mysterious role of the small inorganic cation and small halide anions in improving the stability of perovskite solar cells. The candidate will intensively interact with other computational scientists at CCER and experimental researchers (at TU/e and international institutes) as well as software engineers from Software for Chemistry and Materials (Amsterdam, the Netherlands).

Job requirements

The successful candidate should have:

  • MSc. degree in Physics, Materials Science or Chemistry or closely related discipline or expect to graduate within 2019.
  • Preferably, you have followed courses in Theoretical Physics and Chemistry, Quantum Physics or Chemistry, Statistical Physics, Computational Physics or Chemistry or related subjects.
  • The ambition to excel in energy research and tackle a complex computational and technical problem with independence.
  • A dynamic character and excellent communication skills to interact with colleagues with diverse background and to work efficiently at inter-disciplinary setting.

Conditions of employment

  • An exciting research project at the forefront of the field; a dynamic environment fostering fundamental science with a technological perspective.
  • A full-time appointment for four years, with evaluation after one year.
  • Gross monthly salaries are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO NU), increasing from € 2.325, = per month initially, to € 2.972, = in the fourth year.
  • An extensive package of fringe benefits e.g. assistance in finding accommodation, excellent technical infrastructure, the possibility of child care and excellent sports facilities.
  • PROOF program for personal and career development.
  • In case of equal qualities, female candidates will be given the priority.

If you are interested in this position, please send in your CV, a personal motivation letter describing why you want the job (max 1 page), a list of relevant courses you followed, the grade you obtained, and digital copy your master and PhD thesis.

Applications can be sent to Dr. Shuxia Tao at Applications without a motivation letter will not be taken into consideration.