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Open Positions 1
Time Span as soon as possible for 3 years
Application Deadline 31 Mar 2019
Financing yes
Type of Position
  • PhD - Individual Supervisor
Field of Research
  • Mathematics / Natural Sciences
  • Engineering
Description PhD position:
Thermal and directed motion in molecular friction processes investigated by Photonic Force Microscopy

Friction is a complex process of energy dissipation, which is important on most length scales, time scales and across disciplines. Several theories approach the molecular origin of friction, but a comprehensive understanding is still missing. Usually, friction is quantified by a friction coefficient. We address two main routes to determine the friction coefficient, either from a directed motion or from thermal motion.

In a collaborative project, we want to answer the following three questions:
A) Friction on short and long time correlated motion: How is the macroscopic friction coefficient related to thermal fluctuations and directed movements of a (coated) bead?
B) Friction and adhesion from multidirectional, frequency-dependent on- and off- binding: What is the relation between single molecule friction and adhesion for different directions and velocities?
C) Cooperative binding and unbinding: How do the properties of single bonds determine the properties of an ensemble (e.g. film or bulk material such as hydrogels)?

The candidates (PhD salary of 65% E13) will modify the setup, prepare surfaces, perform 100Hz super-resolution microscopy (ROCS), thermal noise tracking, optical tweezing and computer modeling. The goal is to achieve unprecedented insights into the molecular origins of frictions from various perspectives to better understand (biological) transport processes as well as to design novel interfaces (cooperation with T. Hugel group).

We are looking forward to answering your questions!

Requirements We are seeking a motivated candidate with a background / interest in soft matter physics / biophysics and optical tweezers.
Working Language
  • English
  • German
Language of Dissertation
  • English
  • German
Required Documents
  • CV
  • Reports, certificates
  • Letter of Motivation
More Information


Universität Freiburg • Institut für Mikrosystemtechnik (IMTEK)
Dr. Felix Jünger
Georges-Köhler-Allee 102
79110 Freiburg

Phone: +4976120354206