Doctoral thesis focused on the synthesis of metal oxide nanowires synthesised via floating catalyst chemical vapour deposition (FCCVD), combining state-of-the-art modelling (computational thermodynamics and kinetics of nanowire growth) and experiments (synthesis and characterization) techniques.


Ref. num. 2023-DT-RA-50

Thermodynamics & kinetics of nanowire growth

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.

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IMDEA Materials Institute has an immediate opening for a doctoral research position on the topic of “Synthesis of Metal Oxide Nanowires for Energy Applications”.

This PhD project focuses on the growth of nanowires and their assembly into macroscopic electrode materials. It is based on the synthesis of nanowires suspended in a gas stream through floating catalyst chemical vapour deposition (FCCVD). The overall aim is to combine the use of computational tools and experimental methods to rationalise the conditions leading to nanowire growth and rate-controlling growth factors, in order to optimize growth conditions and expand the scope of materials that can be synthesized via this technique.

The student will use computational thermodynamics (e.g. CalPhaD) to generate relevant phase diagrams in order to study selectivity in the reactions leading to growth of nanowires. The candidate will also develop (analytical and/or computational) models to describe the kinetics of nanowire growth.

The student will have access to multiple FCCVD reactors and state-of-the-art gas-phase analysis equipment, which will provide experimental data for a wide range of nanowires of great technological interest, such as metal oxides used in energy and compound semiconductors used in optoelectronics.

The selected candidate will be jointly appointed in the research groups on “Multifunctional Nanocomposites” and “Modelling and Simulation of Materials Processing”. This research is supported by a national research grant under the project SALMONE (Synthesis and Assembly of Long Metal Oxide Nanowires for Energy).


- Master’s degree in physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, or equivalent.

- Experience or interest in (nano)material synthesis, characterization, and/or computational modelling of materials (e.g. thermodynamics and kinetics) will be positively evaluated.

- Scientific curiosity and attention to details.

- English (written and oral) proficiency.


- Full time employment and enrolment in a relevant doctoral programme.

- The doctoral contract is for a duration of 36 months.

- Position available immediately and open until filled.

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

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.

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