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Postdoc Research Position: PIEZO-PHOTOMOTION

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TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology)

The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

As an employer, the TNW Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.   



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Academic staff - Postdoc

Job title

Postdoc Research Position: PIEZO-PHOTOMOTION

Minimum salary


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Job description

A full-time, fully funded postdoctoral research position, for the duration of 2 years, is available at the Inorganic Materials Science (IMS) chair in the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. The position offers an exciting research opportunity on a cutting-edge project and in a stimulating, multidisciplinary and multinational work environment.

Direct conversion of light into mechanical motion has fascinated mankind for centuries, examples including Sir William Crookes’ radiometer, light sails for space craft propulsion and Feringa’s molecular machines. Nanoscale propulsion systems enable novel technologies such as nanorobots for targeted drug delivery and enhanced mass-transport in photochemical systems. Novel, versatile light-driven propulsion systems are required to unlock better performance and new applications of such nanosystems. In this project, a new field of research is investigated enabling direct light conversion into mechanical motion and displacement on-chip, hereby called piezo-photomotion. To achieve this goal, hybrid materials systems will be developed that combine the photovoltaic with the piezo electric effect. In photovoltaic devices light is transformed into an electric power while piezo electric materials convert mechanical displacement into voltage and vice versa. The goal of this project is to analyze fundamental properties such as the energy conversion efficiency as well as to explore possible applications of these novel materials systems such as light-driven nanorobots and agitation of photochemical systems.

The research will be carried out at the MESA+ institute for nanotechnology- one of Europe’s leading research institutes for piezo materials- with funding provided by the Dutch government through the prestigious Vidi talent scheme.


The successful candidate has a PhD degree in physics, materials science, chemical enginieering, electrical engineering, nanoscience, or a related field.

During your PhD you became an expert in fabrication and characterization of piezo materials and devices. In particular, strong knowledge of structural characterization techniques such as XRD is required.

You are excited about science, ambitious to bring your project to the next level, and eager to keep up with a fast-moving research field.

You can communicate science and technology related subjects in English.

We offer

The University of Twente offers a stimulating work environment in an area of applied, forefront research. You will have an employment contract for the duration of 2 years and can participate in all employee benefits that the UT offers. The gross monthly salary depends on your level of experience, current salary scales and employment conditions can be found at https://www.utwente.nl/en/hr/terms-of-employment/.

The offer further involves: a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%, a solid pension scheme, a minimum of 29 holidays, and numerous professional and personal development programmes.

Information and application

Your reaction should include the following documents in your application: CV, short motivation letter, less than 1-page summary of previous research or other relevant experience.

Please apply via the provided button below.


For more information contact Dr. Rebecca Saive (r.saive@utwente.nl).


About the department

IMS is a research group devoted to thin film growth studies, (nano)structuring techniques, and properties of complex materials, in particular oxides. It includes materials with diverse properties, like ferroelectrics, ferromagnetics and multiferroics, piezo’s, high-K dielectrics, transparent conducting oxides, non-linear optical materials, ion conductors, superconducting and related materials, and anti-reflection coatings. Its research field is focussed on thin films with modified properties by doping or by artificial layered structures and superstructures. Applications are found in, e.g., nano-electronics and spintronics, optical systems, fuel and solar cells, fluidics, bio-nano sensors.

Principle Investigator: Dr. Rebecca Saive, Inorganic Materials Science (IMS), MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands. www.utwente.nl/en/tnw/ims/research/research_saive/

Position localisation

Job location

Nederland, Enschede, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB


Drienerlolaan 5 7522 NB Enschede

Candidate criteria

Minimum level of education required

6. Doctorate

Scientific area

Natural sciences