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

Doctoral Position in the area of Micro-optics


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 Micro-optics

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.


As part of the Cluster of Excellence livMatS, the Gisela and Erwin Sick Chair of Micro-optics will contribute to the development of completely autonomous light-actuated liquid-crystal elastomer (LCE) actuators. Based on many years of experience using these materials for the realization of tunable optical components, we will now develop means to make them autonomous. In close collaboration with chemistry researchers working in livMatS and the LCE optics team in the Micro-optics lab, we will now incorporate light-sensitive LCE materials into actuators which respond to light, deforming without external energy input. Using fabrication techniques we are continuing to develop, the challenge will be to demonstrate fully autonomous actuation of an optical component, such as an iris.


We are looking for a doctoral researcher for this project. Your responsibilities will include:

  • Study and modeling of the actuation characteristics of light-sensitive LCEs;
  • Development of structuring; alignment; and integration processes using MEMS technology;
  • Conceptualization and realization of autonomous optical component demonstrators.


Your profile includes:

  • A Master’s degree with top grades in chemical, microsystems, or mechanical engineering;
  • Experience in microfabrication; knowledge of chemistry and/or optics an advantage;
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team on the combination of very disparate technologies

The position is currently limited to 65%, with an option for an additional 35% within the group of Prof. Dr. Hans Zappe.


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 (Bachelor and Master 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 00000306, by date 22.02.2019 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 

E-Mail : one -on-one: AND zappe @ imtek.

For further information, please contact Herr Prof. Dr. Hans Zappe on the phone number +49 761 203-7561 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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