PhD Position in Photo-Responsive Systems Towards Recyclable Adaptive Materials

University of Freiburg

The livMats Cluster of Excellence is offering the following position: PhD position for the Development of photo-responsive systems towards recyclable adaptive materials
  • Application deadline: 19.02.2021
  • Publication date: 22.01.2021
  • Start-date: At the earliest possible date.
  • Part-time position (65 %)
  • Id no.: 00001404


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.

Project description

This research project seeks to develop adaptive polymers that incorporate photo-switchable-responsive motifs to enable and/or improve controlled reprocessing, reshaping, and repairing processes. This project is conducted in three phases: (i) Fundamental mechanistic investigations of potential photo-responsive motifs at the molecular level. (ii) Systematic incorporation of the motifs into different polymer architectures and the assessment of their response to the photo-stimulation. (iii) Translation of photo-responsiveness into polymer networks. Ultimately, the understanding achieved during these molecular and macromolecular investigations will allow us to re-design currently none-recyclable polymer materials, such as thermosets, and render them capable of undergoing multiple reshaping cycles.

Candidate profile

The applicant must have a master’s degree in chemistry or polymer science. She/He should also demonstrate a willingness to pursue interdisciplinary research involving molecular-scale and polymer synthesis, polymer processing, and the characterization of polymeric material properties. Research experience in organic and/or polymer synthesis and standard characterization techniques (NMR, IR, UV-Vis, and Fluorescence) is expected and any additional skills in engineering and material science would be advantageous. Excellent communication skills in English (written and oral) as well as having a team oriented /collaborative spirit are essential requirements.

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.

This position is limited to 36 months. 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 your application in English including supporting documents mentioned above citing the reference number 00001404, by 19.02.2021 at the latest. Please send your application to the following address in written or electronic form:

Mailing address for applications:
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Freiburger Zentrum für interaktive Werkstoffe
und bioinspirierte Technologien (FIT)
Dr. Monika Schulz
Georges-Köhler-Allee 105
D-79110 Freiburg
Kennwort: livMatS
E-Mail address for applications: (please send one PDF file only)

For further information, please contact Frau Dr. Céline Calvino on the phone number +49 761 20395149 or E-Mail