PhD Position on Quartz Crucibles for Silicon Solar Cells

Trondheim, Norway
Wednesday, 18 March 2020
End of advertisement period
Friday, 3 April 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

A PhD fellowship on quartz crucibles is offered at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

The most common commercial solar cells are made from silicon crystals which are grown in crucibles made of quartz. The properties of these crucibles will affect the quality of the silicon ingots and thus, the final silicon solar cells efficiency and their cost.

Gas bubbles are one common defect in fused quartz crucibles. The formation and growth of these bubbles negatively affect production yields and the quality of the silicon ingots. Understanding the origin, formation and growth of bubbles is of significant industrial interest, as well as understanding what can be done to control physical properties such as glass viscosity, which influence bubble development.

Therefore, the aim of this PhD work will be to understand the mechanisms of bubble formation and growth, as well as the impact of impurities on quartz properties (i.e. viscosity).

The project is within a large national centre, FME-SuSolTech (The Norwegian Research Centre for Sustainable Solar Cell Technology) and, therefore, the candidate will work in a dynamic research team and in collaboration with industry.

Upon completion of the PhD degree, the candidate is expected to be well qualified for a career in both academia and industry. Most of the experimental work will be performed at NTNU and SINTEF in Trondheim. However, the candidate will be encouraged to spend some time abroad. Female candidates are encouraged to apply for this position.

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in materials science, physics or chemistry or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree. Candidates that are expected to complete their master degree by Summer 2020 (i.e. before August 2020) are also encouraged to apply.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

Preferred selection criteria

Applicants should have a MSc degree in materials science and engineering, physics or chemistry. Candidates with background (either master thesis or industrial experience) on quartz and/or solar cell silicon materials are preferred. Female candidates are encouraged to apply for this position.

We search for a person that is creative and can work independently in a cross-disciplinary environment. The person should have good communication skills and be able to collaborate with other PhD candidates and researchers in the field.

Good written and oral English.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years with possibility for 4 years with 25 % teaching duties. (To undertake the teaching duties, it is a requirement that the candidate speaks Norwegian or another Scandinavian language). Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme.

Starting period: expected starting period is August 2020 but this can be discussed during the interview.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in materials science, physics or chemistry within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

General information

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

Applications are to be submitted electronically through this page (

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Marisa Di Sabatino Lundberg, email

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Please refer to the application number NV-34/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 03.04.2020

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering  

We are Norway's leading educational and research environment in materials engineering, materials chemistry and materials science.  In collaboration with business and industry, we are a driving force for the development of innovative materials as well as new applications and manufacturing processes.  Activities in our disciplines are vital for the green shift. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Deadline 3rd April 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary

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