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A full-time PhD researcher for the development of nanolaminates synthetized by PVD

University faculty : Sciences
Grade : Assistant
Contract : fixed term contract
Category : scientific personnel
Allocation : External funds



The objective of this PhD thesis is to elucidate the fundamental deformation and fracture mechanisms taking place in hybrid nanolaminates (NL) under various loading conditions towards the development of coatings with high toughness and high tribology performances. In particular, the candidate will focus on metallic glass (MG)/metal (M) NLs and on amorphous carbon (a-C)/M NLs. The “loading conditions” consists not only of tension and compression but also of cracking, indentation, scratch, erosion and wear type configurations.

The selected MG and NL films will be made of by Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD-magnetron cosputtering). After precise characterisation by XPS, SEM, NRA, …., the elementary stacks and NLs deformed by nanoindentation, scratch, tensile testing, lab on chip, erosion and wear will be characterized first by SEM and then, for selected cases, by TEM. The goal is to unravel the nucleation and interaction of plastic deformation carriers (dislocations, twin boundaries, STZs and shear bands) at the interfaces as well as chemical mixing, cavitation and local decohesion at these interfaces.

This experimental work will be complimented by multi-scale simulation approach gathered into a “Virtual Coater” that includes Direct Scale Monte Carlo (DSMC), Particle-in-Cell Monte Carlo (PIC-MC), and kinetic Monte-Carlo (kMC) techniques. The mechanical modelling of the deformation and fracture response of the NLs will be performed in the context of continuum mechanics.


A successful candidate must have:

  • A master degree in Physics or Material science;
  • Knowledge about plasma physics, thin film growth, material analysis (SEM, TEM, XPS, Nuclear Reactions) and thin film mechanics;
  • Some knowledge in Monte-Carlo simulations.

In addition, the candidate must have good skills in English.

Additional information

Prof. S. LUCAS: stephane.lucas@unamur.be


Contract: 4 years Belgian National Scientific Council (FNRS) contract, starting ASAP.

Application deadline

Send a CV and motivation letter no later than March 23rd 2019 to: stephane.lucas@unamur.be.