Master's Thesis - Chemistry and Materials Science - 3D printing of new materials

We offer a Master’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 fabrication of macroscopic parts have changed many industrial and customized fabrication processes. The revolutionary potential of 3D printing is however limited by the restricted choices of materials which can be processed. Many highly relevant materials like glasses and ceramics needed for life science or medical technology can so far not be processed. Our group strives for the development of novel nanomaterials which allow for 3D printing of high-performance materials. Recently we have developed a novel concept where we have shown for the first time that high-resolution printing of fused silica glass is possible (Kotz et al., Nature, 2017). The process is based on the development of a novel nanocomposite that can be processes in commercial 3D printers and is turned into high-quality glass in a consecutive sintering step.

Nanoceramics are important for the development of extremely hard windows, highly-integrated optics and catalysts in chemical synthesis. In this work novel nanocomposites for the fabrication of these high-performance ceramics will be developed.

Activities and responsibilities

  • Development and optimization of nanocomposites for stereolithography (e.g. finding appropriate powders, dispersants and monomers, rheological characterization).
  • Development of heating protocols for thermal debinding and sintering.
  • Integration of these materials into a stereolithography printer and fabrication of test prints.
  •  Characterization of the sintered ceramics (e.g. bending strength, microstructure analysis).

Qualification profile

  • Knowledge of organic chemistry and polymer chemistry is required.
  • Basic knowledge of the fabrication of nanocomposites and of operating a stereolithography printer are beneficial.
  • You should be interested in working in an interdisciplinary team between engineering, material science and polymer chemistry.
  • You should be eager to expand your knowledge.
  • You should have good planning and time-management skills, as you may have to travel occasionally to external institutions such as KIT to execute measurements.

Benefits

  • 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

Send application to

Visit our homepage to find out more: www.neptunlab.org

Please note the "before you apply" section for instructions: https://www.neptunlab.org/index.php/open-positions#BeforeYouApply

While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: master-3Dceramics

About Universität Freiburg

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...

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