EMAT is constantly looking for high level young researchers to take up PhD or post-doctoral positions on one of its research programs. If you are interested in pursuing a research position at EMAT and you feel qualified to do so, please directly contact the responsible person for the program of your interest.
Technical positions are also available regularly.

Postdoctoral position in the area of the study of the crystallization of organic molecules using transmission electron microscopy under the supervision of Prof Sandra Van Aert and Prof Sara Bals

The main goal of the project is to develop and apply transmission electron microscopy techniques to investigate the crystallization of organic molecules. The occurrence of two or more crystal structures for a given molecule, a phenomenon which is called polymorphism, is ubiquitous to various classes of synthetic and natural compounds. Examples of polymorphism are known in numerous application fields, such as food, explosives, pigments, semiconductors, fertilizers, and pharmaceutical drugs. Different crystal structures, so-called polymorphs, of the same compound exhibit sometimes very different physical properties, chemical reactivity, and biological functions. For instance, the polymorphs might differ in solubility ruining the pharmaceutical effect of one or more of the polymorphs. Understanding and controlling polymorphism is therefore very important. Simple questions, such as “How many polymorphs has a given compound?” or “What drives polymorph selection?”, remain unanswered yet. In this scientific context, scientists have started to explore the occurrence of substrate-induced polymorphism, i.e. the formation of polymorphs that exist only in the vicinity of solid substrates. In particular, this project has the ambition to elucidate how positional and orientational order of molecules propagate from the substrate to the upper crystal layers. In this manner, the project will gain a fundamental understanding of polymorphism at the interface with solid substrates.

Job description

  • You will develop and apply transmission electron microscopy techniques to investigate electron beam-sensitive materials including scanning electron diffraction and exit wave reconstruction;
  • You have the opportunity to supervise student projects;
  • You are enthusiastic and greatly interested in transmission electron microscopy and materials science;
  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project of the assignment;
  • You present your work at national and international workshops and conferences;
  • You will be employed at the University of Antwerp and closely interact with other partners involved in this project, including Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Université de Mons (UMONS), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Technische Universität Graz, and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wisenschaften.

Profile and requirements

  • You hold a PhD degree with a background in e.g. physics, materials science or transmission electron microscopy;
  • You are enthusiastic and greatly interested in the quantitative analysis of electron microscopy data;
  • You can submit outstanding academic results;
  • You are highly motivated, quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative.

We offer

An appointment for an initial period of one year which can be prolonged depending on performance;

  • an exciting project in which we will aim to go significantly beyond the state-of-the-art;
  • a competitive salary;
  • enrolment will start as soon as possible;
  • a world-class, dynamic and stimulating work environment with state-of-the-art instrumentation and computing facilities (see also http://emat.uantwerpen.be/).
  • How to apply

You can submit your motivation letter, CV, summary of your Master and/or PhD thesis, a list and grades of the courses that you took during your studies, and names of 2 professional referees as one single PDF file uploaded on the Application Submission page and select “Postdoc EOS”.

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from: Sandra Van Aert, tel. +32 3 265 3252,sandra.vanaert@uantwerpen.be or Sara Bals, tel. +32 3 265 3284, sara.bals@uantwerpen.be

PhD position in "dose-efficient fusion of imaging and analytical techniques in scanning transmission electron microscopy" in collaboration with University of Oxford

The EMAT research group at the department of Physics (University of Antwerp) and the STEM group at the department of Materials (University of Oxford) are seeking to fill one PhD position in the area of dose-efficient fusion of imaging and analytical techniques in scanning transmission electron microscopy under the supervision of Prof Sandra Van Aert (University of Antwerp) and Prof Peter D Nellist (University of Oxford). 

 

The main goal of this project is to realize a major breakthrough in the quantitative analysis of imaging and analytical techniques in scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Therefore, we will exploit the physics-based description of the fundamental processes of electron scattering and combine this with a thorough multivariate statistical analysis of the recorded signals. In this manner, we will be able to identify the chemical nature of all individual atoms in three dimensions. So far, imaging and analytical signals have mostly been analysed separately in STEM. Although analytical techniques are in principle well suited because of their elemental specificity, they have a much lower signal to noise ratio as compared to imaging techniques. We foresee that our multivariate method, in which new physics-based models are incorporated to describe the electron-object interaction, enables us to achieve element-specific atom counting at a local scale and to determine even the ordering of the atoms along the viewing direction. Furthermore, our approach will be optimized to reach high elemental measurement precision for a minimum incoming electron dose. This novel dose-efficient quantitative methodology will clearly usher electron microscopy in a new era of 3D element-specific metrology at the atomic scale and allow characterisation of beam-sensitive materials. This will exactly provide the input needed to understand the unique link between a material’s structure and its properties in both materials and in life sciences.

 

Job description

  • Depending on your interest, the successful candidate will work on (i) the development of a multivariate statistical framework to simultaneously analyse STEM, EELS, and EDX datasets or (ii) the acquisition and quantitative analysis of experimental data.

  • The PhD candidate prepares a doctoral thesis in the field of sciences.

  • The postdoctoral researcher has the opportunity to supervise student projects.

  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project of the assignment.

  • You present your work at national and international workshops and conferences.

  • You will be employed at the University of Antwerp and closely interact with the team at the University of Oxford involving frequent research stays in Oxford.

 

Profile and requirements

  • The PhD candidate holds a master degree with a background in e.g. physics, statistics, mathematics, transmission electron microscopy or scientific computing.

  • You are enthusiastic and greatly interested in the quantitative analysis of electron microscopy data.

  • You can submit outstanding academic results.

  • You are highly motivated, quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative.

 

We offer

  • a doctoral scholarship for a period of 1 year, renewable for 3 years after positive evaluation for the PhD candidates

  • an exciting project in which we will aim to go significantly beyond the state-of-the-art;

  • a competitive salary;

  • the position will be filled as soon as possible, but the starting date can be adapted to the selected candidate’s availability;

  • a world-class, dynamic and stimulating work environment with state-of-the-art instrumentation and computing facilities (see also http://www.emat.uantwerpen.be/ and http://www-stemgroup.materials.ox.ac.uk/).

 

Additional information about the vacancies can be obtained from: Sandra Van Aert, tel. +32 3 265 3252, sandra.vanaert@uantwerpen.be or Peter D Nellist, tel. +44 1865 273656, peter.nellist@materials.ox.ac.uk

 

Please submit your motivation letter, CV, summary of your Master and/or PhD thesis, and names of 2 professional referees as a single PDF file. Your application should be sent by email to lucian.covaci@uantwerpen.be mentioning the keyword "Multivariate_STEM" in the email subject. Applications will be considered as and when they are received and this position will be filled as soon as possible.