PhD in Modelling Metal-Organic Frameworks Delft University of Technology, Applied Sciences Netherlands

PhD in Modelling Metal-Organic Frameworks

Department/faculty: Applied Sciences

Level: Master degree

Working hours: 38 hours per week

Contract: 4 years

Salary: €2222 to €2840

Applied Sciences

The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.

The Department of Chemical Engineering promotes the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge in chemical engineering, with a focus on materials for energy and health applications. We aspire to improve the quality of life in a sustainable society through discovery and innovation, the quality of life of our graduates through inspiration and teaching, and the quality of life of our peers through collaboration and exchange. With a proud heritage in chemical engineering, the department seeks to break new ground in areas where molecular understanding and engineering design meet.

The PhD student will work under the guidance of Monique A. van der Veen and collaborate with Francois-Xavier Coudert. The van der Veen group focuses on the development of metal-organic frameworks for photocatalysis and electronics. An important component of research in the van der Veen group is the use of advanced optical spectroscopy to gain new insight into the structure and function of nanoporous materials. Francois-Xavier Coudert's group from Chimie ParisTech in Paris is a computational chemistry group that is leading in the modelling of the flexibility of metal-organic frameworks.   

Job description

The PhD position is part of a larger project in which ferroelectrics based on metal-organic frameworks will be developed. Ferroelectrics are here targeted to be used as physically flexible memories and mechanical energy harvesters. These can be used in (biocompatible) sensors for the Internet of Things. The European Research Council has awarded a prestigious ERC Starting Grant to Monique A. van der Veen for this research.


You will work in a team of experimentalists and theorists to achieve this common goal. Your specific PhD project is focused on modelling the piezo- and ferroelectric properties of metal-organic frameworks. You will use quantum mechanical methods and develop more empirical methods so that you can screen potentially good piezo-and ferroelectrics from larger libraries of MOFs. Collaboration with the experimental team members will be vital for your research. You will use their experimental results to verify and refine your methods, and in return use your results to suggest potentially good ferroelectrics for synthesis. If you are interested, the project can have an experimental component where you also gather electronic characterisation data that you use to benchmark your theoretical models.



The candidate must hold an MSc degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Physics or an equivalent field. The candidate must have a keen interest in theory and the analysis and interpretation of complex, experimental data.


Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers child care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Monique van der Veen, phone: +31 (0)15-2786458, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, BSc and MSc grades list, and a letter of application to Ms. Arkesteijn,

When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TNWCE17-069.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


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