The Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK) is one of the largest institutions at Stockholm University with about 150 employees and about 2,000 students per academic year. The teaching focuses on material chemistry and modern characterization techniques. The main research areas are Materials for a sustainable society, Synthesis and processing methods for sustainable materials, and Chemical analysis and structural characterization methods.

Project description

Lignin is an aromatic plant polymer and abundant by-product from the pulp and paper industry. Despite its many unique properties, most of the lignin produced today is combusted for energy, partly because there is a shortage of value-added applications. Colloidal lignin particles have emerged during the past few years as a new class of material with many beneficial properties. Consequently, many new applications are in sight and there is a growing interest in the use of colloidal lignin in high-performance materials.
The student recruited for this position will be working on the preparation and characterization of colloidal lignin particles within an industrial project. The purpose of the project is to assess the applicability of these colloidal lignin particles in industrial products. The selected candidate will receive a stipend. The duration of the project is six months (30 ECTS) and it will involve collaboration and communication with the industry partner.
The MSc thesis project will be carried out in the Sustainable Materials Chemistry (SUSMATCHEM) research group (www.sipponenlab.com) at MMK. The group focuses on the synthesis of lignin-based functional materials following the principles of green chemistry. Other areas of interest include fundamental studies on the formation and structure, as well as functions of nanomaterials, hybrid materials, and composites in their target applications.

Main responsibilities

Laboratory work on synthesis and characterization of colloidal lignin particles. Characterization techniques include dynamic light scattering, electrophoretic mobility, and morphological (electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy) analyses. The formal requirements of the thesis project are defined by the department.
Qualification requirements
BSc degree in chemistry or materials science (180 ECTS) and at least 15 ECTS of completed coursework related to materials chemistry at the MSc level. Candidates who have completed their studies outside of Sweden meet the requirement in English language as explained in the website https://www.universityadmissions.se/en/entry-requirements/english-language-requirements/. For students from non-EU countries tuition fees apply.

Assessment criteria

Applicants must have strong communication and self-management skills with excellent knowledge in English, both written and oral. Special emphasis will be placed on grades and research experience gained during the studies.

Terms of employment

The position involves full-time employment for a maximum of six months. Start date 2021-02-25 or as per agreement.
Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

Application and contact

Further information about the position can be obtained from Assist. Professor Mika Sipponen, mika.sipponen@mmk.su.se. Please express your interest to the position by sending the following information with your application by email:
    • Cover letter
    • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience, a list of publications (if any), contact details, language skills, contact details for 2-3 references in a single document
You are welcome to apply!
Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.
Closing date: 2021-02-03