The exploitation of polymer materials for converting sunlight into electricity through polymer solar cells for direct consumption or later usage through external storage are believed to convey several advantages such as light weight, flexibility, environmental friendliness, a low thermal budget, low cost and most notably very fast modes of production by printing techniques. Production issues are slowly starting to be addressed and production of very large area plastic solar cell modules up 1000 square centimetres have been reported. Production experiments have shown that it is highly feasible with existing technology to mass produce polymer solar cells at a very low cost, e.g. by the use of roll-to-roll (R2R) printing techniques. While the operational stability has been addressed an area that has received very little attention is the mechanisms that cause degradation, which are responsible for the inadequate lifetime of polymer solar cells.

The Solar Energy Programme at Risø DTU is among the world’s research leaders in polymer solar cells – a cost-efficient alternative to silicon-based solar cells. The solar cell group is expanding in various scientific directions covering all possible aspects of polymer solar cells. The Solar Energy Programme consists of a dynamical and versatile group of people with a positive team spirit. The PhD student will be a part of the team and focus on degradation mechanisms in R2R produced polymer solar cells with the aim of lengthening the lifetime of R2R-produced polymer solar cells. This is achieved by carefully designed experiments involving R2R-produced samples and state-of-the-art physical and chemical characterization using a suite of analytical techniques such as AFM, SEM, XPS, TOF-SIMS, X-ray reflectometry and ellipsometry.

Project description
The aim of the PhD project is to contribute to the innovative development of stable roll-to-roll (R2R) produced polymer solar cells, which involves:

  • Design of experiments in collaboration with experts in R2R techniques
  • Physical and chemical characterization of R2R-produced samples by employing the before mentioned suite of analytical techniques
  • Identification of degradation mechanisms and proposal of counter measures


  • Master degree in engineering, materials science, physics, chemistry or similar
  • Experience with at least some aspects of analytical work
  • Ability to work independently, to plan and carry out complicated tasks, and to be a part of a large, dynamical group
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and spoken

We offer
We offer an exciting and challenging job in an international environment.
Good possibilities for professional and personal growth.
A family friendly organisation with flexible working hours.

Terms of employment
The terms of employment will be in accordance with those of the scientific staff at universities. The PhD stipend has a fixed duration of 3 years. The place of work is Risø DTU in Roskilde.


We must have your online application in English by 1 May 2009. Please open the link “apply online” and fill in the application form and attach your application and CV.

Further information
Please contact Senior Scientist Kion Norrman, +45 4677 4793 for further information.

Additional information about Risø DTU and the Solar Energy Programme can be found on

Source : RISO