Postdoc Position – Polymer Chemistry and Materials Science – Volumetric 3D printing with nanoparticle inks and microgel supporting matrices


We offer a Postdoc Position at the young investigator group of Dr. Dorothea Helmer at the Freiburg Material Research Center (FMF) a central research institute at the University of Freiburg. Research foci of the group include material chemistry and material structuring. Dr. Helmer heads the research group “MatrixPrint” within the NanoMat Futur program and is also the leader of the group “material structuring and surface chemistry” at the NeptunLab of Prof. Bastian E. Rapp (IMTEK). Her work is published in the most important international journals including Nature and Science and has been featured in national and international radio and print media including the BBC, the New York Times and the Discovery Channel.

3D Printing is a very promising technique for material structuring in science and in industry. The often-proclaimed “3D printing revolution” promises the easy fabrication of nearly arbitrary parts. However, today there are still three major issues in 3D printing that severely limit the versatility of the technology: prints are slow due to the need for generating supporting structures around complex prints, different types of machines are required for each material class and prints often lack precision on the micrometer scale. The MatrixPrint project aims at developing supporting matrices and corresponding inks for volumetric 3D printing on a customized FDM-based platform. The young investigator group and this project “MatrixPrint” is generously funded by the BMBF NanoMat Futur Program and aims at developing solution to these issues by combining the work of chemists, material scientists and engineers.

As the postdoc of the group, you will play a key role for the project and will be responsible for supervision and guidance of the PhDs. In case of a success, this project will be a game-changer for 3D printing and will find significant attention in the scientific community and also in industry. This is an excellent opportunity to join an ambitious team and develop your career as well as your leadership skills. You should have a solid knowledge of chemistry and materials science and be motivated to solve demanding scientific problems. Knowledge of engineering is beneficial but not mandatory. Besides working for the project, you will have the opportunity to conduct your own research to develop your own ideas. You will also be involved in teaching and administrative obligations aside from research. The contract contains a probationary period of six months and is limited to the duration of the project (3 years). There is a possibility of extension if the project is extended after evaluation. The project aims at technology transfer through a startup company – and could also be the start for your career as an entrepreneur.


Activities and Responsibilities

  • Synthesis and analysis of polymeric microparticles
  • Synthesis and analysis of binders and particles (metal, polymer, glass) for printing inks
  • Rheological analysis of microgels and inks
  • 3D Printing and optimization of printing technologies
  • Compounding of printing inks
  • Design of binders and matrices
  • Bulk polymerization of interpenetrating polymer networks
  • High-resolution 3D printing of metals, polymers and glasses
  • Supervision of PhDs, Master and Bachelor Students
  • Teaching and administration


Qualification Profile

  • PhD in polymer chemistry, materials science or related subjects
  • Profound knowledge of microparticle synthesis, particle analysis and rheology is required
  • Knowledge of 3D printing, microfluidics and wetting is beneficial.
  • Excellent academic track record
  • Excellent English skills in reading and writing, German skills are beneficial
  • You should be willing to make the transition from PhD to Postdoc: being a leader, guiding and teaching students as well as PhDs is your task
  • You should be a team player with ambitions who has good communication skills
  • You should be a creative mind, developing your own ideas and willing to go the extra mile to generate outstanding scientific results.
  • You should be able to structure and document your work properly



  • The possibility to build your scientific career in a highly ambitious laboratory with a strong focus on publications and publicity
  • An interdisciplinary work environment with responsibility for at least three PhD students
  • Possibility to visit national and international conferences
  • Possibility to develop and pursue your own scientific ideas
  • Well-funded projects with access to excellent state-of-the art infrastructure, generous lab space and scientific equipment
  • A lab structure that promotes the development of the individual members and fosters open-minded scientific discussions
  • An environment that supports start-up mentality – the NanoMat Futur Program aims at technology transfer and a spin-off is planned
  • Payment of TV-L 13 100%


Your Application

Please not that inclomplete and generic applications will not be considered. What are generic applications - here are two expamles:

  • Addressed to a generic party (dear Sir or madam/commitee/Professor/...)
  • Not linking your skills to the specific position

Complete applications: Make sure you attach all relevant documents (pdf format preferred)

  • Letter of motivation: Why do you apply for this position?
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Academic track record (recent grades)
  • References
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