A PhD on the development of methods to understand and control gas-phase assembly of nanowires into macroscopic network materials


Ref. num. PhD-Assembly_JV_RA01

PhD candidate - Gas-phase assembly of nanowires into macroscopic structures

IMDEA Materials Institute is a public research organization founded in 2007 by Madrid’s regional government to carry out research of excellence in Material Science and Engineering by attracting talent from all over the world to work in an international and multidisciplinary environment. IMDEA Materials has grown rapidly since its foundation and currently includes more than 120 researchers from 22 nationalities and has become one of the leading research centers in materials in Europe which has received the María de Maeztu seal of excellence from the Spanish government. The research activities have been focused on the areas of materials for transport, energy, and health care and the Institute has state-of-the-art facilities for processing, characterization and simulation of advanced materials. More information can be found at


This project deals with the formation of macroscopic network materials similar to textiles, made up entirely of ultra-long nanowires assembled directly from the gas phase. The overall aim of the PhD is to understand the process of aggregation of nanowires floating in the gas phase to form aerogels. One of the objectives is to develop/implement methods to probe the dynamics of aggregation in-situ in the gas phase. Another objective is to determine the effect of inter- and intra-nanowire features on aerogelation. These experimental work will be complemented with simulations of particle flow.

The student will continuously help in the design and construction of state-of the art nanowire synthesis equipment, with a particular focus on implementing novel detection methods. He/she will also perform multi-scale materials characterisation measurements, for example through electron microscopy, spectroscopic techniques and advanced X-ray diffraction. The PhD student will work in a very collaborative team, funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant. A short secondment in a laboratory of European collaborators is likely.


Master’s and undergraduate degree in a discipline related to materials science, chemical engineering and/or mechanical engineering.

Strong interest in experimental work is essential.

Previous experience on characterisation of nanomaterials, familiarity with aerosol science and/or construction of instrumentation will be positively evaluated.

Command of written and spoken English is a prerequisite.


Screening of candidates will begin immediately. Short-listed candidates will be invited for an initial interview via Zoom, even before the closing date.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to ensure best consideration of their application.

The expected start date is September 1st 2022 (depending on availability).

The position includes a full-time contract with social security coverage.


The working language of the Institute is English. Full command of the English language is required in all positions.

IMDEA Materials Institute is committed to equal opportunities, diversity and the promotion of a healthy work environment and work-life balance. Female applicants are encouraged to apply to our research and technical positions. See our Gender Equality Plan here.

Applications are processed upon reception. The position might be closed once the minimum publication days have passed, so we encourage early application.

Besides on-the-job technical training, IMDEA Materials Institute is committed to training the Institute’s scientists and staff in “soft” or transversal skills. See the available training here.

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