PhD Scholarship in Corrosion Reliability of Electrical Contacts

Technical University of Denmark is offering PhD scholarship in materials science. All students regardless of citizenship are eligible to apply. Applicants should apply before May 04, 2015.

Present electrical contacts systems are based on heavy use of costly gold. The layers are typically made of a substrate with a layer of nickel followed by a layer of gold with thickness depending on the application and exposure conditions. Main issues with the electrical contacts are the corrosion and wear, which limits the freedom to reduce the gold thickness. Only two solutions can be foreseen to solve this problem: (i) use of a corrosion resistance passive layer underneath of the gold instead of nickel so that the corrosion is reduced in case of wear and (ii) use a non-electrochemically active top layer with matching resistivity level to gold. This PhD project focusses on understanding the corrosion reliability issues of the presently used gold-based contacts in detail, including the failure mechanisms. Focus will be on understanding the problems with materials combinations, including substrate material and coating as well as the electrical contact loss due to fretting corrosion. A special focus will be on the contacts used for hearing aid applications. The PhD project will also focus on developing new contact systems without the use of gold. The aim of the new contact material combination will be to provide greater freedom for substrate choice together with building high performance contacts with the required electrical properties without the use of gold.
Application Requirements
- Candidates for the position should have a Master degree in materials science and engineering, physics, chemistry or related subjects such as corrosion science and engineering with knowledge of materials engineering and chemistry.
- Prior experience on corrosion reliability of electronics or knowledge on electrical contact systems is an advantage.
- Combination of knowledge in electronics, materials, and reliability is also preferred.
How to apply?
To apply, please read the full job advertisement at
Scholarship Summary

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