Open Position

Postdoc position in defective metal oxides as the next generation of lead-free piezoelectrics for ultrasonic actuators

Are you wondering about a future free of highly toxic elements like lead (Pb) which poses a severe environmental threat and can be directly or indirectly absorbed into the human body or air, soils, and especially in water, where it intercepts the food chain? Are you interested in electromechanically active smart materials (piezoelectrics, relaxors and electrostrictors) presenting many key applications?

At Federal University of ABC (UFABC-Universidade Federal do ABC) and Materials for Energy Laboratory (LaMen-Laboratório de Materiais para Energia) We are now looking for a postdoc candidate to be a part of a new exciting research funded by the FAPESP and M-ERA.Net (https://fapesp.br/9321/m-eranet). The project includes a consortium between the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Gdańsk University of Technology, Federal University of ABC (UFABC-Universidade Federal do ABC), and industrial partner. We will work on a new class of environmentally friendly and non-critical materials to replace lead-based piezoelectrics. We propose an innovative concept of electromechanical property tuning non-classical electrostrictors via designing ionic defects as building blocks. We especially explore their properties over various applied frequencies from Hz to ultrasound (> 20 kHz).

The postdoc position will cover two years and include a monthly stipend of R$ 9.046,80.

The postdoc includes the following list of responsibilities: 

  • Chemical synthesis: the candidate will fabricate ceramic samples (pellets) from powder materials (oxides, salts).
  • Structural, microstructural and chemical compositions: the candidate will characterize the powders and pellets using techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD) and electron microscopy techniques.
  • Electrical characterisation: the candidate will characterize samples by various electrochemical methods, including AC and DC techniques.
  • An analysis of powders toxicology and recyclability will be formulated, if possible.
  • Project management: the candidate is expected to collaborate with the project consortium (website and communication platform updates) and report to the FAPESP via continuous reporting and deliverable preparation.

Other characterisation methods at synchrotron facilities may be adopted throughout the project. As a part of the employment, the candidate will be involved in several activities from the UFABC LaMEn regarding clean energy materials and technologies for a transition to a green future.

Eligible candidates should have:

  • An PhD degree in Physics, chemistry or materials (engineering) science,
  • Excellent  communication skills in English, both written and spoken,
  • Experience in Chemical synthesis: Solid state, Sol-gel, Pechini, etc.,
  • The ability to work independently with a strong drive, to plan and carry out complicated tasks,
  • Interest in contributing positively to a new research group with a collaborative and diverse culture,
  • A creative mindset for solving problems and identifying new directions and opportunities in your project.

We also value (but do not require) experience with:

  • Experience with piezoelectric materials.
  • Experience with sputtering or PLD deposition.
  • Experience with mechanochemistry.
  • Hands-on lab work with ceramics and electroceramics.
  • Characterisation of materials by Simultaneous thermal analysis, X-ray diffraction, Scanning electron microscopy, and Transmission electron microscopy.
  • Electrochemical characterisation techniques, including impedance spectroscopy, and DC methods.

Assessment
The applicants will be assessed by: Professor Dr. Daniel Zanetti de Florio.

We offer

We offer an exciting and challenging job in an environment focusing on education, research, and innovation, enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. At UFABC, we are committed to the academic excellence world, aiming to become a world-class university. Connected to a strong emphasis in scientific research, UFABC has been acclaimed by its high quality education and high internationalization levels. In the last few years also international rankings started to pay attention to us. The results and lessons learned so far are encouraging and might be followed and improved by other universities in the world.

The fellowship is expected to start on September 1st, 2024 or before (The start date can be anticipated depending on the current situation of the chosen candidate).

Further information

If you need further information concerning these positions, don’t hesitate to contact Prof. Dr. Daniel Zanetti de Florio at daniel.florio@ufabc.edu.br 

Application
We must have your application up to March  1st, 2024.

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please send an e-mail to daniel.florio@ufabc.edu.br with the subject: M.ERA-NET application and your initials. Please, do not forget to attach all your materials in English in one pdf file.

The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • BSc/MSc, PhD diploma
  • List of publications (if any) indicating scientific highlights 
  • List of references (at least two) 

All interested candidates, irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background, are encouraged to apply.