Research Associate – Multifunctional Ferroelectric Thin Films

Imperial College London - Department of Materials, Faculty of Engineering

Campus: South Kensington

Full-Time appointment until 31 March 2019

The post holder will be situated in the Department of Materials at Imperial College ( The project is funded by the Innovate UK and is led by Professor Roger Whatmore (PI,, together with Dr Peter Petrov (Co-I, 

The project will research the magnetron sputtering of ferroelectric oxide thin films based upon lead zirconate titanate (PZT) solid solutions, aimed towards the development of a new material composition that can out-perform current generations of materials in the pyroelectric infra-red detection role and thus give Pyreos a significant lead in the market-place for their detectors and systems.  The process to be developed will use a new multi-target sputtering system to be provided by Korvus.  The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate both a good understanding of how such systems work and the ability to characterise the microstructural and electrical properties of the films produced.  A significant part of the task will involve the transfer of the best process and composition to be implemented at Pyreos.  The films to be produced, while targeted primarily at the needs of the collaborating company, potentially have a wide range of other uses in microsystems – specifically thermal energy recovery via the pyroelectric effect, electro-caloric cooling and piezoelectric sensing, energy recovery and actuation. 

The successful candidate should provide evidence of the following:

  • Experience with the development of functional oxide materials, particularly ferroelectrics
  • Experience with (or substantial knowledge of) the magnetron sputtering of oxide thin films
  • Experience with the microstructural /compositional characterization of oxide thin films by techniques such as XRD, SEM, TEM, XPS, Raman, ellipsometry etc
  • Experience with the characterization of the electrical properties of oxide thin films, including the measurement of dielectric, ferroelectric, conductive properties, including the setting up of systems for their automated measurement
  • Experience with the characterization of the thermal properties (specific heat, thermal conductivity) of oxide ceramic or thin film materials
  • Experience with the electroding of thin film materials and their patterning using photolithography

Should you have any queries please contact Roger Whatmore – or Peter Petrov –

You can find details of salary, terms & conditions, including contract type/duration, benefits, etc.

Closing date: 28 September 2017 (Midnight BST)

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Our preferred method of application is online via our website at the following link: (select “Job Search” and enter the job reference no EN20170325FH Please complete and upload an application form as directed and submit any other relevant supporting documents such as your full CV.

Further guidance may be sought from Mrs Darakshan Khan (

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