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Fundamental material properties of oxides studied
by optical spectroscopy



Overview of the research project:

The project addresses the exploration of fundamental material properties for the improvement of crystal quality, revised microscopic understanding of bulk properties, and controlling the parameters for applications. The main focus of research is the influence of lattice structure, alloying and doping on the vibrational, electronic and magnetic characteristics of oxides studied by optical spectroscopy. Particularly regarding heterostructures as well as ternary alloys, Raman spectroscopy is utilized to study the frequency and splitting of phonon modes as a function of chemical composition or heterostructure design. As a consequence of these investigations, the occurance of miscibility gaps will be clarified for various alloy systems. Regarding heterostructures, the determination of strain states by Raman scattering is an important subject of research. Spatial variations of chemical composition and strain, both in the surface plane and along the growth direction, are addressed by confocal micro-Raman spectroscopy. Regarding electrical doping, Raman scattering by free-carrier related excitations is utilized to study the electrical characteristics of various oxide structures. The impact of magnetic doping is studied by magnetometry as well as magneto-optical spectroscopy. The actual incorporation of dopant atoms into the crystal lattice as well as unintentional point defects and adsorbates are studied using Raman scattering by characteristic vibrational modes. Optionally, spatially resolved photoluminescence may be utilized in order to obtain a more complete picture of the sample characteristics in certain cases.

The doping-related Raman spectroscopic study is complemented by investigations using infrared spectroscopic ellipsometry (IRSE). One target is the determination of intrinsic electron and hole effective masses and their anisotropies as well as non-parabolicities in different material systems. Particular attention is paid to the role of polarons and their influence on effective carrier masses.

Our results will provide input and benchmarks for theoretical calculations, for the optimization of the fabrication conditions and for a proper understanding of optical and transport properties required for devices.

Major accomplishments expected:

  • Identification of structural phases, determination of miscibilities & strain states
  • Determination of free carrier characteristics & intrinsic effective masses
  • Clarification of polaronic influences on electronic & vibrational properties
  • Identification of point defects & adsorbates


Collaboration with partners in the project:

  • Ellipsometry (IR/VIS ): Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg (UM)
  • Ellipsometry (VIS/VUV): Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften (ISAS)
  • Angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU)


Collaboration with partners in other projects:

  • Materials growth: IKZ & PDI / Projects 8, 9, 11 & 12 (C3)
  • Structure analysis: IKZ & PDI / Projects 10 (C3) & 15 (C4)
  • Point defects: IKZ / Project 16 (C4)
  • Theory: HU & FHI / Project 13 (C4)

Who we are looking for:

All advertised PhD projects are located within the field of physics. We are looking for highly motivated young researchers with a highly qualified Master in Physics or a closely related field.

How to apply:

If you are interested in this project, please email a full electronic application including a motivational letter, CV, personal references/letter of recommendation (if available), Bachelor and Master certificate and transcript of records, using the project number C1-2 until February 28, 2017 to:

Please note:

While this call for applications is advertised by the GraFOx ScienceCampus, the recruitment process is performed by the partner institution.



Paul-Drude-Institut für
Leibniz-Insitut im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Hausvogteiplatz 5-7
10117 Berlin, Germany 

The Leibniz ScienceCampus GraFOx is a network of two Leibniz institutes, two universities and one institute of the Max Planck Society. The Network is based in Berlin, Germany.