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Advertising division: IEK-3 - Electrochemical Process Engineering
Reference number: 2019M-025, chemistry, materials science

Master thesis: Large Scale Synthesis of Advanced Nanostructures as Electrocatalysts for Water Electrolysis

The department “Electrochemistry-Electrolysis” of the IEK-3 (http://www.fz-juelich.de/iek/iek-3) at Forschungszentrum Jülich is currently looking for a Master thesis candidate who possesses the below listed qualification for the earliest possible employment date.

Your Task:
Low-temperature (< 100 °C) water electrolyzers are deployed to produce hydrogen using renewable energy sources. Among the different electrolysis technologies, polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis is preferable in terms of its suitability for operation at high current densities (meaning more hydrogen is produced for the same footprint) and its high efficiency. Inside a PEM electrolysis device, the oxygen evolution reaction takes place, and is the process by which molecular oxygen is generated via the electrochemical oxidation of water. Currently, the most active oxygen evolution reaction catalysts are IrO2 or RuO2. Unfortunately, these catalysts suffer from its scarcity and high cost. Innumerous research efforts have focused on the maximization of surface area and catalyst utilization, and the minimization of cost. Our general aim is to develop and characterize bi-metallic nanostructures to achieve excellent catalytic activity. The MSc student will work on the synthesis of these Iridium-based catalysts with the aim to develop scale-up routes while keeping the structure, performance and stability as close as possible to the performance of the initial synthesis procedure. Electron microscopy and electrochemical characterization will be used to evaluate the morphology and performance.

Your Profile:

  • Student in the field of chemistry, material science, or related disciplines
  • Knowledge of fundamental chemistry, solid state chemistry, and inorganic materials chemistry.
  • Excellent cooperation and communication skills and ability to work as part of a team
  • Fluent in the English language

We offer:

  • A pleasant working environment within a highly competent, international team in one of the most prestigious research facilities in Europe
  • You will be supported by top-end scientific and technical infrastructure
  • You will have the opportunity to work with excited researchers from various scientific fields
  • Depending on your performance, the small work packages can be adapted
  • Your work is remunerated

Contact:

Dr. Meital Shviro
Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK)
IEK-3: Electrochemical Process Engineering
Forschungszentrum Jülich
52425 Jülich

m.shviro@fz-juelich.de