KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology & Health

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.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Chemistry

Ionic liquids are an emerging class of liquids that are finding novel applications in energy generation and storage applications due to their unique properties.

The focus will be the experimental characterisation of the IL additive systems and their behaviour at interfaces. 

The research is part of a multidisciplinary project, which will link synthesis, simulations, physical chemistry and tribology - characterisation of tribofilms formed in situ and adsorbed films, which mediate friction. Since conventional adsorption studies are rather challenging in ILs we will make extensive use of Large Scale facilities to probe changes in response to applied fields: Neutron and X-ray reflectance, GISANS and GISAXs to address structure, as well as XPS and NEXAFS to probe composition.

Our recently developed Capacitive QCM approach will be used to “weigh” changes in surface composition with applied field , and also relate the temporal changes to diffusion constants obtained from NMR. Together these measurements provide information on the nature of the IL system in bulk, as well as any deviations in the near surface region. They will also directly reveal magneto/electroviscous responses - a holy grail for lubrication which will permit control of friction in all regimes – not just during boundary lubrication.

Atomic force microscopy measurements will be used to probe both confinement, interfacial and nanotribological properties.

The project supports the generation of next generation, responsive, “green” lubricant additives.

What we offer

  • The possibility to study in a dynamic international research environment in close cooperation with industries and advanced universities the world over.
  • Life-long network through KTH's Alumni organization.
  • A personal study plan to support your development within your areas of interest.
  • A workplace with many employee benefits and monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement.
  • Work and study in Stockholm, one of Europe´s fastest growing capitals, which is close to both nature and the sea.
  • Help to relocate and get settled in Sweden and at KTH.
  • Our group is a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment , with experience of large scale neutron facilities such as ESS. This requires extensive travel to facilities in France, Germany UK and Australia.


To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 § Swedish Higher Education Ordinance), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level,
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.

Physical Chemistry, nanotechnology and materials-physics and materials chemistry are examples of suitable backgrounds  


In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or hers work,
  • ability to collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues.
  • Ability with English is an advantage as is the capacity to embrace an environment characterised by diversity.

After the qualification requirements, great emphasis will be placed on personal qualities and personal suitability.

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year and may thereafter be extended. Doctoral students may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH's website.

Doctoral section (Students’ union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section's website.


Apply for the position and admission through KTH's recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/entral European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Application letter with a brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. (Maximum 2 pages long)
  • Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.

Other information

Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH's work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

For information about processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment September 2019 or by arrangement
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number C-2019-0729
  • Mark Rutland, Professor;, +46 8 7909914, mark@kth.se
Published 11.Apr.2019
Last application date 26.May.2019 11:59 PM CET

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