Job details

Job posted by Academic Positions (27/08/2014 16.19)

PhD position - Towards a visible-light-induced photochromic device

PhD position available at the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Department of Chemical Engineering, section Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage


This position is open until filled.


YHx –based thin films exhibit strong photochromic properties, especially when substantial amounts of oxygen are incorporated. Exposure to visible and ultraviolet (UV) light at moderate intensity triggers a uniform decrease in the optical transmission of visible and infrared (IR) light. The reaction is reversible and samples that are left in the dark return to the initial transparent state. We will explore the nature of the effect in yttrium and (RE-)based hydrides to establish the underlying physical mechanism. This will allow us to tailor the photochromic properties (contrast, speed, durability). In this way we will establish the potential of this material in the smart window market. The goal of this STW project is to produce a window which darkens when illuminated, thus reducing the energy needed for cooling/lighting.

Job description

You will study the photochromic behaviour of magnetron sputtered thin films. The optical and electronic properties of these thin films will be studied over a wide range (UV-vis-IR) before, during and after illumination. To establish the relation to the microstructure and chemical nature, advanced characterization methods will be used (EXAFS, RBS, ERDA, XPS, etc.). The work will be carried out in close collaboration with our academic and industrial partners and includes the energy saving properties of a smart photochromic window based on the optimal materials developed.


You have a recently completed master degree in Materials Science, Physical Chemistry or Condensed Matter Physics, preferably in the field of optical and electrical properties of thin films. A pioneering mentality is essential for this project.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifacetted institution carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognized level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality.
Within the Chemical Engineering department of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, the section Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage (MECS) develops new materials for sustainable energy applications. Current research activities include hydrogen storage materials, hydrogen sensors, photocatalytic water splitting and smart window technology.

Conditions of employment

As a successful candidate you will be employed full-time (38 hrs/week) by TUDelft for a fixed period of four years within which you are expected to write a dissertation leading to a doctoral degree (PhD thesis). Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Nr of positions available : 1

Please note that the full description may be available in the national language since some job boards have their own publication policy. Thank you for your understanding!

Research Fields

Physics - Applied physics
- Condensed matter properties
- Electromagnetism
- Optics
Chemistry - Physical chemistry

Career Stage

Early stage researcher or 0-4 yrs (Post graduate)

Research Profiles

Not defined

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Delft University of Technology

Postal Code

2600 AA


Postbus 5

Delft University of Technology

Postbus 5
2600 AA - Delft
email info@academicpositions.eu