Doctoral Position in the area of Polymer Physics
University of Freiburg, Cluster of Excellence Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems (livMatS)

Doctoral Position in the area of Polymer Physics

Consider making the switch to the University of Freiburg: It is one of the most renowned and strongest research universities in Germany, with a history spanning more than 500 years. You'll engage in top-notch research and teaching with a unique spectrum of disciplines, perspectives, and people - right in the heart of one of Germany's most beautiful cities.

The University of Freiburg's human resources policy is oriented toward the principles of equal opportunity and diversity. The university is committed to the goal of creating a family-friendly university.


The Cluster of Excellence Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems (livMatS) is offering a


Doctoral Position in the area of Polymer Physics

Part-time position (65 %), Start-date: 01.04.2019

The Cluster of Excellence livMatS develops completely novel, bioinspired materials systems that adapt autonomously to various environments and harvest clean energy from their surroundings. The intention of these purely technical – yet in a behavioral sense quasi-living – materials systems is to meet the demands of humans with regard to pioneering environmental and energy technologies. The societal relevance of autonomous systems and their sustainability will thus play an important role in their development. The research program of livMatS is characterized by highly interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from a broad range of fields including engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, psychology, the humanities, and sustainability sciences.

New design principles for molecular building blocks with faster response times on all scales are required for future material systems. Therefore, the mechanical response of the respective molecular building blocks has to be characterized, ideally by mapping the complete relevant energy landscape. Furthermore, the way molecular properties translate to the mesoscale and macroscale is crucial. In particular, the nanomechanical properties will be compared to the mechanical response of macroscopic systems (e.g. self-assemblies or hydrogels).

In this PhD-project AFM-based single molecule force spectroscopy will be used to determine the nanomechanical response of the molecular building blocks.

Then, the nanomechanical response of crosslinker systems will be tested in a direction dependent way.
Next, AFM based frequency dependent nanomechanical characterization of hydrogels and elastomers built from these materials will be done and supported by a combined AFM and fluorescence microscopy approach. In addition, the (self-)assembly processes of molecular building blocks will be imaged down to the timescale of seconds with nanometer precision using high-speed AFM imaging.

Applicants should have a M.Sc. in physics, biophysics, physical chemistry, macromolecular chemistry or similar. Furthermore, eagerness to learn new methods and to acquire further knowledge as well as good self-organization and ability to work independently are required

Please hand in:

  • Letter of intent detailing why you are interested in this specific project and how your previous research qualifies you for the project (up to 1,500 words)
  • Curriculum Vitae with list of publications (if applicable)
  • Certified copies of your university degree(s) with grades (BA and MA certificate / Diploma certificate and transcript)
  • Short summary of your master’s thesis (up to 1,000 words)
  • Work sample (chapter from recent thesis or journal article, up to 5,000 words)
  • Suggestion of two referees with contact details

Your documents will not be returned after the application process. For this reason, please submit copies only.


The position is limited to 31.03.2022. The salary will be determined in accordance with TV-L E13.
We are particularly pleased to receive applications from women for the position advertised here.


Please send in a complete and convincing application the above-mentioned supporting documents including the reference number 00000247, by date 15.02.2019 at the latest. Please send your application to the following address in written or electronic form:

Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg
Dr. Monika Schulz
Freiburg Center for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies (FIT)
Georges-Köhler-Allee 105
D-79110 Freiburg, Germany
Password: livMatS


For further information, please contact Herr Prof. Dr. Thorsten Hugel on the phone number +49 761 203-6192 or E-Mail

General and legal remarks:
Full-time positions may generally be split up into two or more part-time positions, provided that there are no formal or legal barriers. Candidates are selected in accordance with the provisions of the AGG (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz - German General Equal Treatment Act).

Applicants with disabilities (Schwerbehinderte Menschen) will be given preferential consideration in case of equal qualification.

The department offering the position is liable for the content of this job posting. Textual errors do not constitute a basis for any claims or rights. The relevant human resources department has sole responsibility for all legal transactions made within the context of the selection and hiring process.

Please note that breaches in privacy and unauthorized access by third parties cannot be excluded in communication by unencrypted email.

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