IRP13—materials science, physics, chemistry, chemical engineering

Research topic:

Fiber adhesion using FRET microscopy

Recruiting organization:

Graz University of Technology

Institute of Paper, Pulp and Fibre Technology

Application deadline:

March 11th 2018

Starting time:

June 2018 or as mutually agreed (1-2 months changes to the intended starting time are possible)

Contract duration:

36 months

Trial period:

3 months


€ 38.200 per year, before tax


25 days of paid holidays per year

For more information the research topic or on the application procedure, contact the supervisor:

Ulrich Hirn



Scientific content

Molecular interaction forces like van der Waals forces or hydrogen bonding are creating the adhesion between cellulosic fibers e.g. in paper. These forces only develop if the distance between the fiber surfaces becomes smaller than 10 Angstrom. This contact area on molecular scale thus is a key factor for adhesion between cellulosic. In this research work we are developing a method to quantify the degree of molecular contact between cellulosic surfaces using FRET microscopy.

Results: In this project we are developing a method to quantify and investigate the degree of molecular contact between cellulosic surfaces using FRET microscopy. We are employing cellulose thin films as model systems for fibre-fibre bonding. Chemistry, swelling state and surface topography on the nano scale of these films are governing the degree of molecular contact between the model surfaces.

  • FRET microscopy (Förster resonance energy transfer microscopy) will be used to measure and analyze the degree of molecular contact between cellulosic surfaces. The effect of chemical and physical modifications on the
  • The combination of cellulosic model surfaces and measurement of the degree of molecular contact between these surfaces is applied to quantify the contribution of contact mechanics and interdiffusion to the surface adhesion.
  • Physical and chemical modification of the cellulosic surface or the addition of bonding agents can be analysed with respect to their effect on the molecular contact area.


The general requirements for all FibreNet positions are:

  • you may already be in a PhD program but you cannot be a PhD holder,
  • you must have less than 4 years of research experience, i.e., you should be an early-stage researcher,
  • you must not have resided or carried out your main activity in the country of the hiring organization for more than 12 months during the last 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment (short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account), and
  • you should have a high-level knowledge of theEnglish language (spoken and written).


Special requirements for this position:

We are looking for candidates with a Master’s degree materials science, physics, chemistry or chemical engineering. Knowledge in the field of cellulosic materials and their technology is an advantage.


How to apply:

Please apply per email to


Mandatory appendices:

  • a Curriculum Vitae,
  • a letter of motivation (maximum of one page),
  • the contact details of two references,
  • a copy of B.Sc. and M.Sc. certificates with grades list, and
  • a language certificate (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic, Cambridge Language Certificate (Proficiency CPE or Advanced CAE) if available.
  • A pdf file of the Master’s thesis or Bachelor's thesis


In case no suitable candidates are found, Graz University of Technology reserves the right to re-open the call.