2 PhD positions: Dynamics and thermomechanics of graphene

Research / Academic


Micro and nanomechanical systems are being adopted in billions of products, that address a wide range of sensor and actuator applications in modern technology. The advent of graphene, and the ability to fabricate single atom thick membranes, promises further device downscaling, enabling ultimate sensing capabilities that recently could only be dreamt of. But, these atomically thin membranes are in an unexplored regime of mechanics entangled with entropic fluctuations, intrinsic wrinkles and diverse sources of nonlinearities. At the same time, these features pose a big challenge for proper thermal and mechanical characterization of these membranes, which will be the core of your assignment.

As a PhD student you will work on explaining the rich nonlinear phenomena that govern the dynamics of graphene and other 2D materials and will exploit these nonlinearities for their mechanical (PhD 1) and thermal (PhD 2) characterization.

Your tasks will involve:

  1. Developing and conducting research on the dynamics of graphene and other 2D material resonators. 
  2. Performing experimental research on opto-thermally and electrically actuated atomically thin membranes to investigate their rich dynamic phenomena arising from geometric and material nonlinearities. 
  3. Establishing numerical models for wrinkled membranes, and implementing numerical and analytical techniques at the nanoscale.
  4. Developing a nonlinear dynamic methodology for estimating thermal (e.g. thermal expansion coefficient) and mechanical (e.g. bending rigidity) properties of graphene and other 2D material membranes. 
  5. Writing a doctoral dissertation, publishing results in renowned peer-reviewed journals, and presenting research in international conferences. 


Applicants should have the following qualifications:

  •  MSc university degree in physics, mechanical engineering or a related area, with a solid background in nonlinear mechanics, MEMS or NEMS.
  • Proven experimental skills are essential.
  • Team player with strong communication skills.
  • Experience in experimental dynamic testing, building experimental setups, 2D materials, molecular dynamics, atomic force microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, micro and nanofabrication is an advantage.

Salary Benefits:

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Mekelweg 2