PhD position in solid-state NMR of paramagnetic materials

A PhD position is available in the group of Andrew Pell at the Department of Materials Environmental and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Stockholm University (Sweden), in solid-state NMR of paramagnetic materials.

Closing date: August 7, 2017.

Project description:

The aim of our research is to develop solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods in order to allow a more accurate characterization, at the atomic scale, of the structure and dynamics of increasingly complex materials that are relevant in modern material science and chemistry.  Specifically we focus on systems that contain paramagnetic metal ions, and how these ions dictate the properties of technologically important materials such as batteries, catalysts, and solid-state lighting phosphors.

Solid-state NMR is the method of choice for studying local structure and dynamics.  However many interesting paramagnetic materials are, for technical reasons, beyond the ability of the current state of the art in solid-state NMR to study. This PhD project is therefore focussed on developing and specifically tailoring the techniques and capabilities of solid-state NMR for the analysis of samples containing these metal ions; for characterizing their presence, activity, role, and function in a range of different materials.  Specifically the PhD student will develop new pulse schemes for exciting and detecting the NMR signals from quadrupolar nuclei (such as 2H, 14N, 23Na, 25Al, …) in paramagnetic materials, and incorporate these new schemes into more sophisticated experiments in order to separate the information from different spin interactions, which can then be interpreted in terms of both the structure and dynamics of the system.  These new methods will then be applied to a range of paramagnetic materials, such as battery electrodes, ion conductors, or inorganic phosphors, with the specific choice depending on the interests of the student.

The student will acquire expertise in both the theoretical and experimental aspects of solid-state NMR on 400 and 600 MHz Bruker spectrometers. There will also be opportunities to travel to high-field NMR centres both within Sweden and Europe. Following the development of the new NMR methods the student will have the opportunity to apply them on a range of different materials that have been developed both at MMK and in collaboration with other laboratories around the world.

The project is interdisciplinary and contains elements from chemistry and physics. Therefore, strongly motivated students with a background in these areas, and particularly those with an interest in quantum mechanics, are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm University

The Department of Materials- and Environmental Chemistry (MMK) is one of the largest departments at the Faculty of Natural sciences with about 140 employees. The research activities of MMK are in the areas of Materials and Solid-state Chemistry focusing on different classes of materials; e.g. ceramics and glasses, self-assembled and porous materials, and soft matter. The work often encompasses synthesis, characterisation by X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy, NMR studies, modelling with computer simulations of materials with a potential for various applications. Environmental aspects are an important part of the research activities.


For informal enquiries, email Andrew Pell at

To obtain more information about the position, how to apply, and to submit your application visit