PhD positions in condensed matter physics and materials science

The Graduate School of Excellence Materials Science in Mainz (Mainz, Germany) and the Gutenberg Research College (GRC) of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), invites suitable candidates to apply for two positions in our


International PhD program


Applicants must hold an outstanding Masters degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics or related fields (visit requirements for details). It is not necessary to hold the degree at the point of application. However, the degree must have been awarded prior to the start of the thesis.

Thesis projects will be supervised by GRC-fellow Prof. Stuart Parkin from IBM Almaden Research Center (San José, CA, USA) and will be co-supervised by Prof. Mathias Kläui (JGU), Prof. Claudia Felser (JGU), Prof. H.J. Elmers (JGU) or Prof. Hillebrands (Technische Universitaet Kaiserslautern). The projects are expected to last approx. 3 years and part of the projects (~2 years) will be carried out at the IBM Almaden Research Center.

Candidates should be fluent in written and spoken English. German is not required. The selection of suitable candidates for personal interviews in Mainz is based on the academic qualification, motivation, suitability to the program and two independent and confidential letters of recommendation using our MAINZ referee form (download of the PDF-form from the online application interface after registration).

Please register via this link and upload all required documents before the deadline! The closing date for applications is June 10, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. (GMT+1).



Project A: Accelerated Materials Discovery Based on First Principles Theoretical Modeling

New materials and, especially, engineered nano-materials, play a key role in the development of our understanding of fundamental physical phenomena as well as advances in key technological applications. The discovery of new materials can be accelerated by modeling, using first principles calculations, of electronic structure and derived properties, in particular, spin-dependent electrical transport and thermal properties in nano-structured materials and devices. The student should have a background in theoretical physics and a strong interest in programming as well as the application of theoretical modeling to understanding materials, especially spintronic materials. The PhD degree will involve the use of established codes, for example, WIEN2K and VASP, to calculate electronic band structure, the further development of codes to calculate related properties, and their application to the accelerated discovery of new materials.

 Prof. Stuart Parkin, Gutenberg Research Fellow at JGU, IBM Almaden



Project B
: Spintronic Materials and Nano-Devices

Spintronic materials and nano-devices, specifically focusing on materials and devices, whose properties are influenced by the spin polarized currents and voltages generated by the development of thermal gradients in the nano-devices. These thermally induced spin currents will be used to manipulate the magnetization of magnetic domain walls in nanowires and magnetic moments in tunnel junction devices at IBM Almaden and spin waves in nano-structured devices at the University of Kaiserslautern.


Prof. Stuart Parkin, Gutenberg Research Fellow at JGU, IBM Almaden

Prof. Mathias Kläui, JGU Dpt. of Physics


Project C: Novel High Temperature Superconducting Materials

Search for novel high temperature superconducting materials formed by atomic layer engineering of thin film oxide heterostructures. The films will be prepared using a novel thin film deposition system at IBM Almaden equipped with 4 deposition chambers designed specifically for oxide molecular beam epitaxy, pulsed layer deposition, and reactive magnetron and ion beam sputter deposition. The films will be characterized using various magneto-transport, optical, scanning probe microscopy and x-ray characterization techniques at IBM Almaden and electron spectroscopy techniques at the University of Mainz.


Prof. Stuart Parkin, Gutenberg Research Fellow at JGU, IBM Almaden

Prof. Mathias Kläui, JGU Dpt. of Physics