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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

Researcher - Materials & Devices

MN-7 Researcher – Materials & Devices

Contract Type: Full Time/Fixed Term

A 24 month postdoctoral researcher position is open in the group of Dr. Michael Nolan at Tyndall National Institute, UCC to work on the newly funded Science Foundation Ireland – National Science Foundation of China research project NITRALD.

This project involves the modelling, deposition and characterisation of bilayer metal/metal-nitride and single-layer ternary nitride films which can function as barrier/liner materials in nanoscale interconnects. We aim to model and thus advance the understanding of nitrogen based plasma deposition and use this information to optimise the growth of these films at the partner lab in Fudan, China. This is an important activity for nanoscale electronics as the bottleneck will be the interconnect scaling rather than transistor performance.


  • The successful candidate will use large-scale DFT calculations, based on previous work from the group [materials-modelling-for-devices] to examine the surface chemistry in both the metal pulse and the nitrogen plasma pulse for nitride ALD. There is a dearth of detailed simulations of noble metal ALD and some transition metals, while there are no simulations in the literature of NHx-plasma chemistry in ALD. Thus, there is ample scope to develop new models for ALD growth of metal nitrides and inform experimental work at the Chinese partner.
  • The candidate will also build on ongoing work in the group on modelling oxygen plasma growth. There are also questions about the different behaviour of N2/H2-plasma compared to NH3-plasma, which can also be explored. We aim to derive simple rules for the chemistry that can be used as descriptors to guide process parameters.


  • Candidates with a strong background, having obtained a PhD or about to obtain the PhD, in DFT-level modelling of surfaces, interfaces, surface reactions and using state of the art codes on high performance computing systems.
  • A strong publication record, a high level of English and strong communication skills are required.
  • Familiarity with working in China would be an advantage.
  • Applicants without a background in first principles modelling of materials will not be considered.

For informal enquiries and to register your interest in this position, please contact Dr. Michael Nolan, on email

Appointment may be made on the IUA Researcher Scale €36,853 - €43,828.

Application Instructions

Step 1 - click here to download and complete the application form

Step 2 – return the completed application form, together with your cv and motivation letter to

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process. 

Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.