PhD Positions

PhD student in Physical Chemistry

The Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK) is, with about 150 employees, one of the largest departments at the Faculty of Natural sciences at Stockholm University. A significant part of the teaching activities is at the undergraduate level with courses in General, Physical, Inorganic, and Analytical Chemistry. The teaching at the graduate level focuses on the master programs in Materials and Analytical Chemistry. Research activities of MMK focus primarily on materials, and include different classes such as ceramics, glasses, self-assembled, porous materials, and soft matter. The projects often encompass synthesis, and characterization by X-ray, neutron diffraction, electron microscopy, solid-state NMR, and computer modelling of materials with a potential for various applications.

Project description

Project title: Study of guest molecules in nanoporous materials by three-dimensional electron diffraction

Supervisors: Prof. Xiaodong Zou; Dr. Zhehao Huang

In the study of nanoporous materials, such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and zeolites, probing guest molecules are one of the most important tasks, which gives fundamental understanding of host-guest interaction imparting gas sorption, catalytic performance, framework structure formation, etc. However, incorporation of guest molecules often causes damages on crystals which hinders their characterization by conventional single-crystal analysis. Stockholm University is a world-leading institute in developing three-dimensional electron diffraction (3DED) to comfort such challenges.

This PhD project aims at developing and applying new 3DED methods to study guest molecules in MOFs and zeolites and obtaining new knowledge regarding to their chemical and physical properties. The main tasks of the PhD candidate will be, 1) developing and optimizing 3DED for the study of guest molecules; 2) locating guest molecules in MOFs and zeolites; 3) determining spatial configurations of guest molecules by using MOFs as sponges.

The successful applicant is expected to work closely with other members in the group and collaborate with researchers from academia and industry. Excellent cooperation and communication skills, ability to work as part of a team, and good skills in spoken and written English are required. Backgrounds in MOFs and/or zeolites are high desired. Experience in synthesis of MOFs is preferred for utilizing MOFs as sponges. Knowledge in crystallography and electron microscopy is a bonus, but not essential. Applicants are expected to hold a Master or an equivalent international degree in Chemistry, Material Science, Physical Chemistry or equivalent by the end of the deadline. The student will work within the project “xxxx” funded by the Swedish Research Council and a collaboration project with Chevron Corporation. Further information can be found at, and

Qualification requirements

In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Chemistry is valid. Those studies should include at least one specialized course or a thesis in the research subject. In order to facilitate the evaluation of merits and suitability for the PhD studies your curriculum vitae (CV) should contain information about the extent and focus of the academic studies. The quantity (as part of an academic year) and the quality mark of courses in chemistry and physics are of particular interest. Please, state titles of undergraduate theses and project works.

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.


The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates’ documented knowledge in a relevant field of research, written and oral proficiency in English, the capacity for analytical thinking, the ability to collaborate, as well as creativity, initiative, and independence. The assessment will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate’s written motivation for seeking the position.

A short list will be set up and interviews with the top candidates will be carried out at the department or via internet.

Economic support for the PhD studies is guaranteed for full time studies during the time period agreed on in the individual study plan. The studies do normally mean four years full time studies. You are encouraged to contact the project leader for more information about the project.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: and regulations.

Terms of employment

Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.


Further information and application should be directly addressed to Dr. Zhehao Huang ( and Prof. Xiaodong Zou (


Please send an email to Dr. Zhehao Huang (, with the subject title “Application for Ph.D position”. Please include the following information as a single PDF with your application:

· Your contact details and personal data

· Your highest degree

· Your language skills

· Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

· Cover letter

· CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses

· Project proposal/Research proposal describing:

– why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement

– what makes you suitable for the project in question