Bachelor's Thesis – Materials Science and Microsystems Engineering - 3D printing of glass, development of nanocomposites

We offer a Bachelor's Thesis at the NeptunLab. The NeptunLab is the highly interdisciplinary research group of Prof. Bastian E. Rapp at the Department of Microsystems Technology (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg. Research interests include the development of novel materials, technologies and processes for structuring materials and industrial applications. The work of the NeptunLab is published in the most important international journals including Lab-on-a-Chip, Advanced Materials, Angewandte Chemie and Nature and has been featured in national and international radio and print media including the BBC, the New York Times and the Discovery Channel.

3D printers for the production of macroscopic components are already familiar to many people from everyday life. A major problem for these systems is the limited choice of materials. Many materials that are relevant for life sciences and medical technology can not be processed yet. At the Department of Microsystems Engineering – IMTEK, a novel 3D printer based on maskless micro stereolithography is currently being developed. With this system, new materials such as e.g. Glass, ceramics or highly fluorinated polymers for rapid prototyping in microsystems technology can be harnessed. With the "Liquid Glass" process developed in the working group, pure quartz glass can be printed in various rapid prototyping processes (see pictures).
Within the scope of this thesis, the 3D printing of glasses is to be further developed. New nanocomposites will be produced by means of various metal oxide nanopowders and the synthesized composites will be characterized using a rheometer . These new nanocomposites are to be optimized in terms of filling level and flowability for use in the 3D printer. Following 3D printing, the produced glasses are characterized by suitable analysis methods.

Activities and responsibilities

  • Use of various commercial available metal oxide nanopowders for the integration into the glass nanocomposites for 3D printing of glasses.
  • Characterization of the flow behavior of the produced nanocomposites.
  • Development of suitable sintering protocols as well as the characterization of the 3D printed glasses.

Qualification profile

  • Studies in materials science, microsystems engineering or related subjects
  • Basic knowledge of organic chemistry is required
  • Lab experience is beneficial
  • Excellent academic track record
  • Excellent English skills in reading and writing
  • You should be a team player with ambition to solve problems and publish your results
  • You should be able to structure and document your work properly


  • An interdisciplinary work environment with a team of motivated scientists that strive to develop clever solutions for scientific as well as industrial problems
  • Well-funded projects with access to excellent state-of-the art infrastructure, generous lab space and scientific equipment
  • An aspiring young team with great emphasis on publications and publicity
  • A lab structure that promotes the development of the individual members and fosters open-minded scientific discussions
  • A strong focus on the career development of the candidate with the possibility to conduct industrially and socially relevant research with the distinct goal to produce scientific publications
  • An environment that supports start-up mentality – if your research is industrially applicable and promising, we will move towards commercialization of your solution

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While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: jv-b-nanopowders