PhD position: Dynamic sub-micron assessment of hybrid polymer networks

The project is a part of a large collaborative Industrial Partnership Programme between AMOLF, Wageningen University, University of Amsterdam and Unilever Research, entitled Hybrid soft materials: from physical mechanisms to designer products. The overall goal of the programme is to understand the physics of the assembly and visco-elastic properties of hybrid networks, consisting of mixtures of stiff and soft elements, which leads to the rich and complex multiscale physics that characterize real food products. The understanding of the design principles and the relation between the molecular, microscopic and mechanical properties of hybrid networks will be used in the design of new, improved systems, in particular new food products.

As part of this programme we are looking for a PhD student interested in the development and application of advanced magnetic resonance (imaging) methods to study the behavior of food materials under shear and stress.

Job description

The PhD student will develop, validate and implement magnetic resonance approaches for non-invasive assessment of hybrid biopolymer network formation and degradation under dynamic conditions such as stress and shear. Velocimetric measurements under shear (RheoMRI) will be combined with nanoprobe (PFGNMR) diffusometry to provide a view on biopolymer network formation/degradation at sub-µm scale.


The postdoc will be stationed primarily at Wageningen University, whilst also spending considerable time at Unilever R&D Vlaardingen on a regular basis. The work will be supervised by Prof. J. van Duynhoven (Unilever, Wageningen University) and by Prof. J. van der Gucht (Wageningen University).

Required qualifications

The candidate should have an MSc degree (or the equivalent) in Physics or Physical Chemistry, with a strong background in nuclear magnetic resonance techniques applied to structure-function relationships of materials. Experience with food materials and/or magnetic resonance imaging would be an advantage. Good communication skills in English are required.

Conditions of employment

You will have an employee status and can participate in all the employee benefits NWO-I offers. You will get a contract for four years. Your salary will be up to a maximum of 2,834 euro gross per month. The salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8 percent and an end-of-year bonus of 8.33 percent. You are supposed to have a thesis finished at the end of your four year term with NWO-I. 


Prof. Dr. John van Duynhoven,; 31 6 11386685