PhD studentship to study the mechanics of macroscopic networks of nanowires. These fascinating new materials are composed of inorganic crystalline building blocks, but behave as textiles and polymeric networks. They are of particular interest as electrodes for energy storage.


Ref. num. 2023-JV-R1-73

Mechanics of nanowire network materials

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 our webpage.


IMDEA Materials Institute has an immediate opening for a PhD position to study the mechanics of nanowire network materials.

The Multifunctional Nanocomposite Group has developed a method to produce macroscopic networks made of inorganic nanowires assembled from the gas phase. They are freestanding flexible sheets, similar to nanotextiles, consisting of percolated networks of ultra-long nanowires.

We offer a PhD position to do the first study on the mechanics of these network materials. The aim is to combine experimental methods with analytical models to describe the tensile mechanical properties of these systems and their inherent damage tolerance. The first objective is to produce model systems to separate orientation and compositional contributions to bulk properties. We will use our state-of-the-art WAXS/SAXS equipment to determine nanowire alignment, and to track its evolution during network stretching. The project will also look into the fundamentals of stress transfer at the nanoscale, including through in-situ measurements in electron microscopes. The micromechanical model emerging from this work will also be applied to study damage-tolerance of nanowire network electrodes used for energy storage in Li-ion batteries.

The candidate will spearhead the group’s work on the mechanics of multiple types of nanowire and nanotube networks, currently used for various applications. He/she will have access to our platforms for in-situ mechanical studies by diffraction, spectroscopy and microscopy, including at synchrotron facilities. The candidate will be encouraged to interact with our industrial partners and external collaborators, and to represent the research group at international conferences.

This PhD position is part of an ERC Consolidator Grant. The project is highly multidisciplinary and will require the collaboration of the candidate with physicists, chemists, biologists and engineers in the research group.

  • - Master’s degree in materials science, engineering, physics or a related discipline
  • - Scientific vocation and strong interest in experimental work are essential.
  • - Demonstrated experience and interest in the study of mechanics of solids.
  • - Command of written and spoken English is a prerequisite.


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

The expected start date is no later than October 2023.

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

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


Stimulating environment where you can grow professionally.

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 and our Code of Ethics here.

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.

Meet some of our alumni to see what it is like to work with us.