PhD position in materials physics - In-situ FIB micro joining and TEM characterization

06/02/2020 | Job positions

PhD position in materials physics - In-situ FIB micro joining and TEM characterization

PhD Position at NTNU
PhD Position at NTNU

A PhD position is available at the Department of Physics in the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (ESTEEM3 partner). Deadline for application: 1 March 2020.



The PhD position is financed by the project InSane (In-situ studies of highly conductive bonded interfaces between aluminum and copper at the nanoscale) which is a researcher project in the Nano 2021 program in the Norwegian Research Council. The increasing use of electric devices makes the contribution from cabling to the total component weight considerably larger, and the replacement of Cu with Al cables has therefore an enormous weight saving potential. The key to success in manufacturing of all types of battery power packs is to connect Al cables to Cu battery terminals with highly conductive, strong and sharp interfaces. Such Al/Cu joints will ensure efficient, reliable and sustainable energy transport and storage. Yet, no technology exists to produce such joints in the solid state without size limitations, while maintaining full control and understanding of the process. IN-SANE aims to develop the solid-state Hybrid Metal Extrusion & Bonding (HYB) process for Al/Cu joining at scales relevant to connecting battery terminals. The development of HYB will be monitored in-situ, inside a modified scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with a focused ion beam (FIB) and dedicated devices for topological, electrical and chemical characterization at the nanoscale. Full utilization of the technical capabilities of the NorFab and NORTEM facilities will allow extraction of samples for atomic scale characterization by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In this project we aim to develop the HYB process to a level where it may outperform commonplace joining processes. Simultaneously, we will gather insight into dissimilar solid-state metal joining - yet limited knowledge that is essential to meet electrification demands. 

The project is a new collaboration between two departments (Physics and Mechanical Engineering) at NTNUSINTEF and international world leading experts. Further information can be obtained from:

  • Professor Randi Holmestad, Department of Physics, NTNU, phone +47 49170066, email 
  • or Associate Professor/SINTEF senior research scientist Per Erik Vullum, SINTEF Industry, phone  +4793016522, email


The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in physics or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree. The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:   

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA. The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

More information

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