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PhD on Hydrogen Sensing at THz/GHz frequencies

PhD on Hydrogen Sensing at THz/GHz frequencies

The Signal Processing Systems and Integrated Circuits groups at the Electrical Engineering at TU/e have a joint vacant PhD position in the field of hydrogen sensing using metal hydride thin films studied with optical (GHz, THz, IR) spectroscopy.
Electrical Engineering



Hydrogen is an important future energy carrier, and has foreseen applications in areas as mobility, heating and power generation. For reasons of safety and control, hydrogen levels thus need to be monitored across a large variety of applications. Although hydrogen sensors are becoming more mainstream, they often work in a specific concentration range, have a limited range of sensitivity and are not hydrogen specific. Metal hydrides are metallic layers that reversibly change their electronic properties upon the absorption of hydrogen gas, and as such are particularly suited for hydrogen sensing. Traditionally used metal hydrides, like PdHx, absorb relatively little hydrogen, remain metallic and integrated in hydrogen sensors turn out to be not hydrogen specific. Complex metal hydrides, based on transition metals, are found to cross a metal-to-insulator transition, thereby drastically changing their electronic and optical properties, which make them promising candidates for specific and accurate hydrogen sensors.


The project is bridging physics with electrical engineering, and has as a particular challenge to translate the fundamental properties of complex metal hydrides studied in a first part into an application with societal relevance developed in a second part. At first, the candidate will grow multilayer samples using the NanoAccess facility of the Applied Physics department and perform optical spectroscopy measurements at GHz, THz and infrared frequencies. The candidate is further expected to build a setup where these metal films can be studied as a function of hydrogen uptake. In order to unravel the intriguing light-matter interaction of these materials, analysis will at first be based on physical models that need to be designed and programmed. Eventually, the observed physical phenomena are expected to be translated in a concept hydrogen sensor system, being accurate and of wide range and most importantly, hydrogen specific. In order to reach this goal, hybrid signal processing, using physical models and AI principles, will be performed by the candidate with internal collaboration within the Signal Processing Group. Furthermore, multiple collaborations with the Applied Physics department are foreseen.


We welcome applications from candidates with a MSc degree or equivalent in Physics, Electrical Engineering or related field. Experience with optical studies, thin film growth and (Python) programming is advantageous.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Informatie en sollicitatie

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
dr. J.L.M. van Mechelen, j.l.m.v.mechelen[at]

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HRServices.flux[at]

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'solliciteer nu'-button on this page.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of
    three references
  • A recommendation letter from at least 2 references.
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it.
Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.