Postdoc scholarship in photon upconversion nanotechnology for energy applications

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

The workplace

The studies will be performed under the supervision of Dr. Haichun Liu and Prof. Hans Ågren at the Department of Theoretical Chemistry and Biology.

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Project description

The infrared (IR) region, containing almost half of the irradiated solar energy, has long constituted the hardest part to be utilized in the solar irradiation spectrum in solar cells. This is because that the involved photosensitizers such as dyes and perovskites typically have limited response to IR light. The loss of these sub-band-gap photons is a major obstacle on the way of improving efficiency of solar cells. Without altering the already existing designs and merits of solar cells, photon upconversion (UC) nanotechnology mediated by lanthanide upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) can provide a solution to circumvent this transmission loss by converting two or more sub-band-gap photons into one above-band-gap photon.

The incorporation of UCNPs in our laboratory has remarkably improved the performance of solar cells in the IR range. However, to fully exploit the prospect of UCNPs in photovoltaic devices, some issues remains to be overcome, e.g., their relatively low response at weak light irradiation. The aim of this project is to explore the potential of combining UCNPs with optical microstructures to overcome such barriers to promote their use in energy applications.



The candidate should hold a PhD in chemistry, physics, micro- or nanosystem fabrications or related subjects. A doctoral degree or an equivalent foreign degree, obtained within the last three years prior to the application deadline

Experience with synthesis of inorganic nanomaterials, surface chemistry, polymer technology are strong merits. The applicant must be highly motivated for postdoctoral studies, possess the ability to work independently and perform critical analysis. Good communication skills in oral and written English are required. The evaluation will be based on research experience and how well the applicant fulfills the above qualifications.


Apply to this scholarship by e-mail to . You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad. Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than 2019-10-16. Mark your application with reference number C-2019-1596.

The application must include the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter (detailing both your previous scientific work experience and your interest in this position)
  • Research statement (max 2 pages)
  • Contact information for three references

Please observe that you apply for a scholarship, not an employment.

About the position/positions

Period: 1 year (+1)

Extent: Full-time

Amount of scholarship: 324.000 (+324.000)

Location: Stockholm


Queries concerning the position can be directed to Haichun Liu ( ) or Hans Ågren( )

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