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PhD position: Development of perovskite colloidal nanocrystals with improved photophysical stability for optoelectronic applications

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

We are looking for candidates with a strong background in organic and wet inorganic chemistry.

The position is open in the Functional Inorganic Materials Group (KovalenkoLab, ETH Zurich). The research activities in FIMG are focused on challenges related to the chemistry, physics, and applications of inorganic materials ranging from nanostructures to powders, thin films, and single crystals. Central to our efforts is the synthesis of new materials and their integration or self-assembly into multifunctional solid-state structures. Synthetic work and thorough materials characterization are the cornerstones of our research.

Job description

The research activities will involve the synthesis of photostable colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals with highly-efficient emission in the visible range, followed by further comprehensive characterization of their optoelectronic properties. Central to the project will be the characterization and alteration of the surface chemistry of nanocrystals. This will require deep knowledge of relevant analytical techniques as well as the development and synthesis of new organic ligands for better colloidal and photostability of nanocrystals. Long-chain aliphatic molecules will be also substituted in favor of less insulating ligands (e.g. short aromatic ligands) to improve electrical transport. Synthesis of nanocrystals coated with polymeric and inorganic shells will be also explored in order to enhance their thermal- and photostability. The applicants are therefore expected to have a deep willingness to learn/improve their knowledge in new fields of chemistry. The established nanocrystals will be tested for particular applications: lasing, as quantum sources, LEDs, etc.

The preferred start is August 1st, 2021.

Your profile

  • Recently obtained master degree in chemistry with outstanding grades (Applicant cannot hold a PhD degree obtained previously)
  • Excellent knowledge of organic chemistry
  • Strong experimental background in chemistry
  • Experience in catalysis will be beneficial
  • The applicant shall at the time of recruitment be in the first four years of his/her research career (This time is measured from the date of award/diploma of the most recent taught degree)
  • The applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
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We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • 2-3 names of referees (with email addresses) that can be contacted for reference letters, recommendation letters will also be accepted
  • Academic transcripts of B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees

Applications should be either submitted through our online portal or sent to Dr. Dmitry Dirin (, Dr. Sergii Yakunin (, and Prof. Maksym Kovalenko (

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