PhD Student position (m/f/d) “In-situ 4D STEM of memristive switching”

The Leibniz-Institute for Crystal Growth (IKZ) is a leading research institution in the area of science & technology as well as service & transfer of crystalline materials. Our goal is to enable solutions for urgent societal challenges (e.g. communication, artificial intelligence, climate protection, health etc.). by modern electronic & photonic technologies. The work covers the full spectrum from basic over applied research up to pre-industrial development and is performed in collaboration with national and international partners from university, academy and industry. The institute is part of the Forschungsverbund Berlin ( and a member of the Leibniz Association You can find more details on the institute webpage:

We are offering a PhD Student position (m/f/d) For the topic “In-situ 4D STEM of memristive switching”

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a key technology that increasingly transforms industry, science, and society. The scientific goal of AI research is to understand intelligence as computation, and its engineering aim is to build machines that enhance or surpass human cognitive abilities in some useful way. The dominantly serial architecture of conventional digital computers does not match the energy efficient parallel design of natural neural networks. Developing novel materials and physical principles that can mimic biological neurons is therefore an urgent demand. Voltage-controlled polarization switching of nanopolar domains in off stoichiometric Perovskites (ABO3) is a promising approach to realize neuromorphic behavior. Understanding the relation between structure, chemistry and switching behavior by in depth analysis of the materials down to the atomic scale by electron microscopy-based methods is a prerequisite for implementing these materials in practical devices.

The aim of this project is to use scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) combined with the new type of fast pixelated electron detectors to perform 4D-STEM analyses to study both the crystal and nano domain structure at nanometer length scales. This will be done using STEM-differential phase contrast (DPC) in co-junction with advanced in-situ electron microscopy techniques, utilizing “big data” processing methods. In-situ heating and biasing of the specimen will effectively create an experimental “nano lab” not only for advanced analyses of materials, but also as a strong basis for solid state theory. The work will be done in a joint project between the Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung, Fritz-Haber Institute und Humboldt-University in the framework of the Leibniz Science Campus GraFox in Berlin, Germany. Besides in-situ and 4D STEM, the project comprises samples growth by MOCVD, XRD and electrical characterization at IKZ and ab-initio calculations and data science-based approaches at FHI and HU-Berlin.

Your activity:

  • Perform 4D STEM data collection using aberration corrected TEM and newly installed fast pixelated detector and explore new possibilities offered by this detector
  • Write scripts or programs to analyze the 4D STEM data
  • Investigate current academic approaches to similar problems and develop advanced methods and solutions using these approaches or creating new ones
  • Perform simulations to model the image formation and derive optimum setups for specific measurement goals
  • Develop approach to perform novel experiments and to treat the large amounts of data that will be produced in such experiments
  • Prepare samples for advanced TEM studies
  • Work closely with other TEM group members to process, develop and design experiments
  • Publish results and attend workshops and conferences to present your work.

Your profile:

  • Applicants must hold a master degree either in physics, materials science or related fields
  • You are highly motivated and enjoy working in a motivated team
  • Skills in these fields are highly welcome: transmission electron microscopy, focused ion milling, image analysis and/or programming (e.g. Matlab, Python)
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English is mandatory, basic comprehension and oral skills in German are highly appreciated

What we offer:

  • An exciting project in which we will aim to go beyond the state-of-the-art
  • A stimulating, high tech, multicultural and multidisciplinary research environment
  • A laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, including dual beam FIB/SEM system, aberration corrected TEM and in-situ capabilities
  • A competitive salary.

The position is limited to three years, an extension for another year is possible. Payment is according to TVöD (75%) (Treaty for German public service). The IKZ is an equal opportunity employer and actively supports reconciliation of work and family life. There is equality for applicants of all genders. Qualified women are especially encouraged to apply. Among equally qualified applicants, preference will be given to disabled candidates.

For information about the project please contact: Dr. Martin Albrecht, Tel. +49 30 6392-3094, martin.albrecht(at) or Dr. Houari Amari, Tel. +49 30 6392-3066, houari.amari(at)

Have we aroused your interest?

Then apply directly by clicking on the “Apply online” button below with a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae and all relevant certificates.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Apply Online

Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung (IKZ)
Max-Born-Straße 2
12489 Berlin

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Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung (IKZ)
Max-Born-Straße 2
12489 Berlin