Ph.D. project


Ph.D. Graduate Student Position for project „In-situ XRD Investigations during Ion Nitriding and
Etching of Stainless Steel” Position ID: 03/Physik/02-2018

The Leibniz-Institute of Surface Engineering (IOM), Permoserstr.15, in Leipzig, group of Dr. Daniel Spemann invites applications for a

Ph.D. project

on “In-situ XRD Investigations during Ion Nitriding and Etching of Stainless Steel”.

Aims of the project:
Nitriding of stainless steel for increasing hardness and wear resistance while maintaining its excellent corrosion resistance is well investigated and has a strong potential for a broad industrial application. However, there is no common opinion about the formation of the so called expanded phase obtained during nitriding as the details of this transformation process are still unclear. The aim of the project is to elucidate details of the phase transformation leading to this phase, its initial formation and its decay by depth-dependent XRD measurements during ion beam etching of expanded austenite. This novel in-situ approach for analysing diffusion layers will allow a new and deep insight into the special properties of expanded austenite. Initially, using an existing in-situ low energy broad beam ion implantation system coupled with a fast vacuum XRD system, an optimization of the sputter process by varying the noble gas precursor and ion energy to reduce sputter-induced surface roughening has to be performed. Furthermore, depth-resolved XRD measurements studying the influence of the type of the nitriding process on the expanded austenite formation are to be executed. These measurements will be combined with detailed annealing experiments. Marker experiments using carbon or chromium pre-implantation with a conventional beamline implanter for studying nitrogen diffusion are complementing these experiments. A comprehensive set of analytical tools is available for ex-situ analysis of the samples.

Outstanding candidates with a strong background in physics, materials science or crystallography are encouraged to apply. A complete M.Sc. / Diploma degree, as well as fluency in English are prerequisite.
Practical experience in at least one of the following fields is requested: X-ray diffraction, ion  implantation, nitriding of stainless steel.

The position is for 3 years. Salary will be on the German TV-L 13 scale.

Working hours:
Working hours comply with the German TV-L regulations - 30 h/week (3/4 position).