Open positions

One junior postdoctoral positions in ab-initio calculations of lead-free halide perovskite photovoltaics in UCLouvain, Belgium [updated Sep. 2023].

One junior highly-motivated postdoctoral candidate is sought to work in the Electron-phonon group of Prof. Poncé at UCLouvain (Louvain-la-neuve, Belgium) for the FRFS-WEL-T FLASH-PV project on computationally driven improvements in lead-free halide perovskite photovoltaics which includes studying the carrier transport properties of Pb-free perovskites (hybrids, inorganics, bulk and 2D), the impact of defects, and how to increase power conversion efficiency through band alignment Sn oxidation mitigation. Theory and software developments are welcomed depending on the candidates’ interest.

The ideal starting date is early 2024 but later starting dates are negotiable depending on the candidate's availability. The contracts are for two years (renewed annually) with possible extensions.

Relevant references for this project:

* V. Pecunia et al., APL Mater. 8, 100901 (2020)* S. Poncé et al., Reports on Progress in Phys. 83, 036501 (2020)* J.-C. Blancon et al., Nat. Nanotechnol. 15, 969 (2020)* S. Poncé et al., ACS Energy Letters 4, 456 (2019)* M. Schlipf et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 086402 (2018)

Job requirements
The candidates should hold a PhD degree in Physics or Materials Science with demonstrated coding experience (FORTRAN and Python). Experience with the VASP, CASTEP, Quantum ESPRESSO, EPW or the ABINIT software is beneficial. Excellent knowledge of English is compulsory.
The Junior postdoctoral researcher should have less than 6 years of postdoctoral experience and be in a mobility situation (not have recently worked in Belgium). 

Group and Location
The Electron-Phonon group led by Prof. Samuel Poncé is part of the Modelling (MODL) division of the Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences (IMCN) at the Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium). The campus is about 40 min away from Brussels by local train. The Electron-Phonon group has access to significant computational resources including national HPC (Lucia, CECI) and international ones (LUMI, EuroHPC).
The MODL division is composed of about 30+ researchers doing first-principles simulation, machine learning and high-throughput calculations. The ABINIT and PseudoDojo initiative are coordinated by the MODL division and the lab is a contributor to the EPW and Materials Project.

Salary and Benefits
Salaries follow the legal scale for research positions in Belgium (indicatively around 3000€ for postdoc after taxes, depending on experience) and public transport to the workplace is (partially/fully) covered.
Working in Belgium includes many benefits such as affordable healthcare, social security, free education (primary and secondary school) and pension benefits (EU and assimilated countries). 

How to apply
Applicants should send their CV (pdf), a brief cover letter with a description of their coding and scientific achievements as well as contact information for two references letters (to be sent if shortlisted) to and use [FLASH-PV application - NAME] in the subject of the email for sorting purposes.
Candidates will then be selected based on their application documents and a remote interview.  

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Junwen Yin

Dr. Junwen Yin is a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Samuel Poncé.

In 2016, Junwen obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the College of Chemistry and Molecular Science, Wuhan University. After that, he joined the group of Prof. Limin Liu at Beijing Computational Science Research Center and was awarded a Ph.D degree in Condensed Physics in 2022. During his PhD study, he visited Prof. Keith Mckenna’s group at the University of York for a year.  During Junwen’s PhD study, he focused on the investigation of polaron behaviors in transition metal compounds and the phase transition mechanism of organometal perovskites. After graduation, Junwen Yin joined Intel for a year as a 3D NAND technology development engineer and was in charge of quality insurance of related semiconductor products.

Junwen Yin has a cross-disciplinary knowledge background due to his mixed academic training and industrial experience. His enthusiasm lies in the theoretical investigations of sustainable energy materials and AI-assisted material informatics technologies. As a postdoctoral researcher, Junwen will focus on the transport properties of lead-free perovskites using state-of-the art theoretical methods.

PhD students

Tom van Waas

Tom van Waas is an ASP-FNRS PhD student in the group of Prof. Samuel Poncé.


In 2019, Tom obtained a joint bachelor's degree in Molecular Science & Technology at Leiden University and Delft University of Technology (DUT) in the Netherlands and an Applied Physics bachelor's degree at DUT. In 2021, Tom completed the Applied Physics master's programme, also at DUT.


During their Casimir pre-PhD master's programme, Tom performed their main pre-PhD master’s project on first-principles simulations of halide double perovskites involving Prof. Ferdinand Grozema from DUT. Tom completed two shorter pre-PhD master’s projects at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI): one project on metal-organic frameworks in the van Bokhoven group and a project on angle-resolved spectroscopy of quantum materials under the supervision of Prof. J. Hugo Dil.


The PhD project of Tom is based on the latter pre-PhD project, where the aim is to study fully spin- and momentum-resolved electron-phonon interaction from first-principles simulations as well as from angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy at the PSI Laboratory for Advanced Spectroscopy and X-ray Sources and other beamlines.


When Tom is not found at their computer trying to solve a computational physics problem, they can be found on an outdoor running session or listening to some of their favourite jazz.

Yiming Zhang

Yiming Zhang is currently a PhD candidate in the group of Prof.Samuel Poncé.

Yiming was conferred Bachelor’s degree in Opto-Electronics Information Science and Engineering at Fudan University in the Optics department. After that, he was recommended to the graduate school and completed his master’s program in Optical Engineering in 2023.

From 2019 to 2023, Yiming was devoted to the research work on first-principle calculation on functional materials under the supervision of Prof. Hao Zhang. He investigated novel exciton condensate phenomena and exciton dynamics in semiconductor materials as well as the opto-electronic properties of a wide range of materials including TMD, double inorganic-organic perovskites.

In his PhD project, he aims at finding and characterizing novel superconducting materials using high-throughput computation and newly developed theoretical methods.

Mohammad Bakhsh

Mohammad Bakhsh is a Ph.D. candidate under Profs. Samuel Poncé and Gian-Marco Rignanese and holds a Chemical Engineering Bachelor's degree from Mehran UET Jamshoro, Pakistan. He was awarded a scholarship from Pakistan's Higher Education Commission (HEC) for his master's and Ph.D. studies in Belgium.

During the 1st semester of his master's program in Chemical and Materials Engineering at VUB and ULB, he discovered his inclination toward materials science over process technology. This realization prompted him to choose materials science as his area of specialization. His enthusiasm is fuelled by his keen interest in working on solar cell materials, considering the substantial impact of solar cell technology on the lives of individuals in underdeveloped and developing nations, and its position as a leading renewable energy technology.

He aims to employ machine learning and first-principle calculations in his Ph.D. to address solar cell technology challenges.

Principal Investigator

Samuel Poncé

Samuel Poncé is an F.R.S.-FNRS Research Associate and Professor at the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium.

He completed his PhD in Solid State Physics at the Université catholique de Louvain in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Gonze. He earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s  degrees in Civil Engineering at the Université catholique de Louvain in 2008 and 2010, respectively. 

Samuel was a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the group of Prof. Giustino in the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford and a Junior Research Fellow of the Wolfson College from 2015 to 2019. 

From 2019 to 2021, he was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the Institute of Materials from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in the group of Prof. Marzari.

CV available here.