PhD Positions in Silicon Nanobiosensors for Single Molecule Analysis

Uppsala University Department of Electrical Engineering

Two PhD Positions in Silicon Nanobiosensors for Single Molecule Analysis

Published: 2021-02-26

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

Electrification and digitalisation are among the largest areas for the future in the conversion to sustainable societies. The Department of Electrical Engineering conducts successful research and education in the areas - renewable energy sources, electric vehicles, industrial IoT, 5G communication and wireless sensor networks as well as smart electronic sensors and medical systems. The Department of Electrical Engineering is an international workplace with around 130 employees that all contribute to important technical energy and health challenges at the Ångström Laboratory.

The positions will be at the Solid-state electronics division, the Department of Electrical Engineering.

Project description: Studying living systems at the molecular level is crucial to improving our understanding of life. However, such a study is challenging due to the great complexity of biomolecules. For example, proteins participate in virtually every process within cells and are the dominant drugs or drug targets for the pharmaceutical industry; but proteins naturally fluctuate in structure, which causes the heterogeneity in their functionalities. Currently available biomolecule analysis techniques are based on the ensemble average of the measurements over a large amount of molecules; therefore, they cannot resolve the heterogeneity of biomolecules. To address this challenge, our project aims at achieving a new silicon based nanobiosensor, utilising the high precision fabrication technology developed for silicon chip industry, to reliably trap and analyse single molecules. The opportunity to study individual biomolecules, instead of being forced to deal with ensemble averages, will provide completely new insights in molecular biology. The technology should also be very valuable to the pharmaceutical industry to understand the interaction between a drug and its receptor.

We have an exciting work environment designed by the doctoral student and the research team together. The doctoral student will be supervised by at least two supervisors.

Employment benefits: As an employee at Uppsala University, you are given wellness compensation for your health and a leading research environment, Read more here. The Department of Electrical Engineering also gives a salary supplement in addition to the local guidelines for doctoral students at Uppsala University.

Employment as a doctoral student are four years full-time studies with the possibility of extension for special reasons. Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines.


  • Design and fabricate the new silicon nanobiosensor device using state-of-the-art tools in the cleanroom, and realize electrical trapping of single molecules in the fabricated nanobiosensor.
  • Perform single molecular analysis experiments with fabricated sensor, based on both electrical and optical approaches.
  • Develop theoretical models for data analysis, publish research results and collaborate effectively within the project group.
  • The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties. No more than 20%.


  • The applicants must hold a master degree in physics, chemistry, materials science, electrical engineering or equivalent. Candidates with a bachelor degree, with at least 240 ECTS, in one of the aforementioned disciplines can also be considered. However, in such case the student must have demonstrated exceptional records in university learning.
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Good communication skills and independence.

Application: Please use the link below. You should include a brief description of your research interests and relevant experience, a CV, copies of diplomas and certificates, thesis (or a draft thereof) and other relevant documents. You are encouraged to provide contact information to reference.

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.
Starting date: 2021-08-16 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %.

For further information about the position please contact: Professor Zhen Zhang, Phone: 0046-18-4713131, Email: 

Please submit your application by 15 April 2021, UFV-PA 2021/845.

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Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Institutionen för elektroteknik

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/845

Last application date: 2021-04-15

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