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  3. PhD Position in Experimental Soft Matter

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PhD Position in Experimental Soft Matter

Aim of the PhD project is to investigate the micromechanics of 'superlubric' particle suspensions for novel lubricants. Superlubricity is a newly …

4 maanden geleden


Science Park, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2443 - € 3122 per maand


Aim of the PhD project is to investigate the micromechanics of 'superlubric' particle suspensions for novel lubricants. Superlubricity is a newly discovered mechanism of ultralow friction due to atomic lattice misfit between clean, flat, rigid crystalline surfaces. We will investigate the rheology and contact mechanics of superlubric colloidal particles to elucidate their contact network and flow instabilities. The project is part of the European project SSLiP (Scaling-up SuperLubricity into Persistence), involving seven partners.

What are you going to do?

Friction between moving parts and the associated wear are responsible for about 25% of the world’s energy consumption. Superlubricity is a new mechanism of ultralow friction between solid surfaces. In this project, we want to bring superlubricity to the macroscopic scale using colloidal particles coated with superlubric material. We will investigate their dynamic contact network and shear banding under applied shear using 3D confocal microscopy to obtain insight into their micromechanics. To image the contact network, we will explore the application of molecular probes coated on the particle surfaces. Together with the other EU project partners in simulations, particle synthesis, and friction analysis, we will carefully design the coatings and carrier fluid to achieve an ultralow friction lubricant for applications.


What do we require?

  • A Masters degree in Physics or Physical Chemistry.
  • Experience in the following fields: Statistical Mechanics or Rheology of suspensions, Colloids, Molecular probes, Soft Matter.
  • The excellent candidate should be able to collaborate and adapt in an international team and possess very good communication skills in oral and written English.


A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of four years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of four years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and Master students.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,443 to €3,122 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

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Additional information

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