PhD Resilient hierarchical microfluidic networks

The Cluster of Excellence livMatS develops completely novel, bioinspired materials systems that adapt autonomously to various environments and harvest clean energy from their surroundings. The intention of these purely technical – yet in a behavioral sense quasi-living – materials systems is to meet the demands of humans with regard to pioneering environmental and energy technologies. The societal relevance of autonomous systems and their sustainability will thus play an important role in their development. The research program of livMatS is characterized by highly interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from a broad range of fields including engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, psychology, the humanities, and sustainability sciences.

The livMatS Cluster of Excellence is offering:

2 PhD positions for the project Resilient hierarchical microfluidic networks for fuel transport and information processing

Envisaged Start date is 1st October 2022

Project description
Living materials systems require energy and communication transport. Fluidic transport networks are part of nature’s solution to both, but their potential has not yet been fully explored for modern material systems. In particular, the projected use of H2O2 as a chemical “fuel” requires such fluidic distribution methods. We here study fluidic transport networks that are embedded in a soft elastic medium. We particularly explore the role of the medium for transport properties, which are threefold. First, flow leads to pressure gradients which elastically deform the surrounding medium. Second, swelling of the elastic medium can be used to implement reactions to chemical stimuli. Third, diffusion through the medium allows for secondary transport on time scales different from streaming fluid transport. The goal of this project is to use the interplay of these mechanisms for flow control and adaption. We will additionally study the reliability of the implemented function on potentially large deformations of the network.

Candidate profile
We are seeking two highly motivated and well-trained individuals with a specific interest in experimental (1 PhD) and simulation-based (1 PhD) soft matter science and physics,, who will work closely together within this project. Candidates with a strong interest in interdisciplinary research and a multidisciplinary educational background should ideally possess a Master's degree in physics, physical chemistry, material science, nanoscience, mechanical engineering or a closely related discipline.

Please hand in:
• Letter of intent detailing which PhD position you are interested in for this project and how your previous research qualifies you for the project (up to 1,500 words)
• Curriculum Vitae with list of publications (if applicable)
• Certified copies of your university degree(s) with grades (BA and MA certificate / Diploma certificate and transcript)
• Short summary of your master’s thesis (up to 1,000 words)
• Work sample (chapter from recent thesis or journal article, up to 5,000 words)
• Suggestion of two referees with contact details

Your documents will not be returned after the application process. For this reason, please submit copies only. This position is limited to 36 months. The salary will be determined in accordance with TV-L E13. We are particularly pleased to receive applications from women for the position advertised here.

Please send your application in English including supporting documents mentioned above citing the reference number 00002426. Application deadline is 30 September. Application is to be emailed as ONE SINGLE PDF FILE to

Direct questions about the PhD in experimental soft matter science and physics to

Direct questions about the PhD in simulation-based soft matter science and physics to