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Funded PhD position In Wood Photonics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Engineering Sciences

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as in architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

The School of Engineering Sciences carries out a wide range of research at the international front line, from fundamental disciplines such as Physics and Mathematics, to Engineering Mechanics with applications such as Aeronautics and Vehicle Engineering. We also offer university degree programs in Engineering Physics, Vehicle Engineering, and ‘Open entrance’, as well as a number of international masters programmes

The position is at the Department of Applied Physics, and part of the multidisciplinary ERC-project WOOD-NANOTECH at the Wallenberg Wood Science Centre (WWSC) at KTH. WWSC is a research center with focus on new materials from trees. The mission of the center is to create knowledge and build competence that can form the basis for an innovative future value creation from forest raw material.

Job description

Wood is the most successful bio-based material throughout history for structural applications owing to its excellent mechanical properties and natural abundancy. Its mechanical superiority is fundamentally derived from its hierarchical structuring based on aligned cellulose fibers. Recently it was demonstrated in KTH that one can create optically transparent wood by infiltrating polymer into a wood-derived cellulosic template [Bio macromolecules 17, p. 1358 (2016)]. Being able to alter transparency and thereof other optical flavours to wood adds a new dimension to the traditionally load-bearing material, which immediately stimulates a fresh range of applications. Besides aesthetic transformation of wood, application examples include light-transmitting façade, solar cell, light-emitting surface, electrochromic window for homes or vehicles, to name a few.

The project investigates fundamental optical properties of transparent wood. While sample preparation will be done at the Wallenberg Wood Science Centre, the candidate will extensively use available nano-characterization and optical measurement facilities in our Electrum Laboratory. The objective is to study wood nanostructure composites and correlate the structure and chemical content to measured optical properties. Optical imaging and spectroscopy measurements can be in the visible, near-infrared, and possibly mid-infrared spectral ranges. Besides transparent wood, studies will be extended to samples doped with nanoparticles (quantum dots, dyes, plasmonic nanoparticles, etc). The candidate is expected to carry out numerical calculation and to establish models to predict light scattering behaviour in such turbid media. The candidate will also be involved in sample preparation and installation of characterization setups.

The employment is four years with a possibility of maximum up to five years. Up to 20 percent department duties are included in the employment.


A suitable background for this position would be a Master of Science in Physics or Electrical Engineering with a specialization in optics/photonics or material physics. The candidate is supposed to have adequate knowledge on optics, optical phenomena of materials, and is familiar with basic optical spectroscopy and imaging techniques. Experience in nanomaterial fabrication and characterization, numerical electromagnetic modelling, and/or signal processing, will be an advantage. In addition to the traditional academic merits, a relevant degree project, international experience, and language skills are regarded as advantageous qualifications.

Applicants must be strongly motivated for doctoral studies, possess the ability to work independently and perform critical analysis as well as show adequate levels of cooperative and communicative abilities.

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH’s webpage.


Log into KTH’s recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad.

Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

The application must contain the following documents in PDF format:

  • Statement of professional interest and motivation for the application
  • CV
  • Transcripts from university/university college
  • Example of technical writing, e.g., thesis, essay, course report or scientific paper, etc


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Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Deadline: July 28, 2017

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