PhD on numerical modelling of perovskite solar cells will develop advanced numerical simulation modelling software to quantitatively study

To enable the development of new, superior perovskite materials and solar cells, the successful candidate will develop advanced numerical simulation modelling software to quantitatively study the electrical characteristics of state-of-the-art perovskite solar cells.

With the rise of perovskite semiconductors, a new approach using metal halide perovskites as wide bandgap absorber on top of state-of-the-art silicon bottom cells has emerged, promising power conversion efficiencies (PCE) well over 30 %. Such tandem cells are envisaged as one of the most promising applications of these fascinating new materials. The development of suitable, highly efficient perovskite sub-cells is a challenge and requires a thorough understanding of the workings of perovskite devices.

This PhD project is part of a large European project on the development of perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells. The project includes several leading European groups at the universities of Oxford, Valencia, Karlsruhe, and others, as well as a number of industrial partners.

Within this consortium, the successful candidate will identify the loss mechanisms of the perovskite solar cells made and measured by the other partners through the use of extensive numerical modelling. This includes extending our current drift-diffusion modelling software, applying it to experimental data, and the use of machine learning to identify trends in the data. A deep understanding of device physics, numerical modelling, and computer programming are, therefore, required. The PhD student will be operating at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, one of the leading institutes in the field of materials science, and will be supervised by Prof. Jan Anton Koster, an expert in the field of photovoltaics.


You are expected to:

• hold a (Research) Master degree (or will graduate before appointment date) in physics, Material Science or a similar related field
• have demonstrable experience in numerical modelling
• have demonstrable experience in computer programming
• show ability to collaborate in an interdisciplinary environment
• have strong communication skills and are motivated to disseminate results to both scientific peers and a broad audience
• be proficient in the English language (oral and written) e.g. with a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 overall and 6.5 on parts
• be strongly motivated to obtain a PhD degree.

Technical skills: An MSc degree in physics, material science or engineering (or equivalent) is required. A demonstrable background in computer programming and numerical simulation is essential.


The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, City of Talent. Quality has been our top priority for over four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is the largest faculty within the University. We offer first-rate education and research in a wide range of science and engineering disciplines, from classical disciplines such as mathematics, astronomy and mechanical engineering, to interdisciplinary fields such as artificial intelligence, pharmacy and nanoscience. Our community has an open and informal character with students and staff from around the world.
The position we offer will be embedded in the research group Photophysics and OptoElectronics that is part of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The group’s main research interests lie in the use of novel semiconducting materials for optoelectronic applications and devices. The group provides a lively, internationally oriented scientific environment with excellent facilities.

Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,443 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,122 gross per month in the fourth and final year
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE) for four years; first, you will get a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years; prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress to indicate that successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and you will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

The conditions of employment are available at the University of Groningen website under Human Resources:

Starting date from 1 November 2022


Do you want to become a member of our team? Please send your application to us, by submitting the following documents:

1. Letter of application (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number). 1-3 pages where you:
• introduce yourself
• describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g.
• education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research
• activities)
• describe your future goals and future research focus
• copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis
• attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.
2. Curriculum vitae (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
3. Copy of the latest degree/qualification
4. Two letters of recommendation.

You can submit your application until 30 June 11:59pm / before 1 July 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the university website).

Please note that the data that you provide will be used exclusively for the purpose of professional profiles’ evaluation and selection, and in order to meet the requirements of the University of Groningen.

Your data will be processed by the University of Groningen, based in Groningen, Broerstraat 5, acting as Data Controller, in compliance with the rules on protection of personal data, including those related to data security.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:…)rsity-and-inclusion/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission’s European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.


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