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PhD Position at Christian Doppler Laboratory: Interface engineering of metal-supported fuel cells

Advertising institute: IEK-1 - Materials Synthesis and Processing
Reference number: 2017-292

The Institute of Energy and Climate Research Materials Synthesis and Processing (IEK-1) is known for its dynamic and international working environment. We develop inorganic materials and components for advanced energy conversion and storage (solid oxide fuel and electrolysis cells, solid state batteries, thermal barrier coatings, gas separation membranes). In particular, our expertise in electric field assisted sintering and lab facilities are internationally recognized. Our mission is a fast transfer of scientific results and developed processing technologies to our industrial partners.

We are looking to recruit a

PhD Position at Christian Doppler Laboratory: Interface engineering of metal-supported fuel cells

Your Job:

In future energy concepts, metal-supported solid oxide fuel cells (MSCs) are promising candidates for the highly efficient conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy. Due to their improved ruggedness and abuse tolerance, MSCs are particulary attractive for non-stationary applications like auxiliary power units (APUs) or range extender for battery electric vehicles. The Christian Doppler Laboratory for Interfaces in Metal-Supported Electrochemical Energy Converters, a consortium of Forschungszentrum Jülich, Vienna University of Technology, Plansee SE and AVL List GmbH works on a research concept that reflects major challenges of current MSC technology.

In the present state, MSCs manufactured by Plansee SE require two individual diffusion barrier layers (DBL), which avoid the interdiffusion of alloying elements between metal substrate and anode as well as between electrolyte and cathode. In both cases, Gadolinium doped ceria (GDC) is currently in use as material for the DBL, which is deposited by physical vapor deposition (PVD).

The goal of the PhD is to replace the costly PVD process by cheaper wet chemical coating technologies like screen printing or ink jet printing. Furthermore, it is aspired to improve the effectiveness and long-term stability of the DBL by introducing new material concepts. Success of the work is proven by systematic electrochemical studies accompanied by detailed investigation of microstructure and phase composition. In these studies, oxidation of the metal substrate will be an important aspect as well.

Your Profile:

  • Excellent university degree in material sciences, chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, process engineering or mechanical engineering
  • Experience in the field of preparation and manufacturing of metallic and ceramic materials by the powder route
  • Knowledge in the field of sintering, electrochemistry and high temperature corrosion is of advantage
  • Fluent English language skills
  • Excellent ability to work as part of a team, flexibility as well as the ability to show initiative

Our Offer:

  • Work within a strong and highly motivated team in one of Europe's largest and best equipped research institutions
  • International, interdisciplinary working environment on an attractive research campus, ideally situated between the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Aachen
  • Contributing to a project that is funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy as well as the industrial Partners Plansee SE and AVL List GmbH
  • Opportunity to participate in project meetings and to present your results
  • Various opportunites to take part in international conferences and to train key competences e.g. as part of HITEC Graduate School
  • A comprehensive further training programme
  • Various opportunities to reconcile work and family life
  • Limited for 3 years
  • Salary in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD-Bund), salary grade EG 13 (50%) TVöD.

Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particulary welcomes applications from women.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

We look forward to receiving your application, preferably online via our online recruitment system on our career site until 15.02.2018, quoting the above-mentioned reference number.

Contact Human Resource Development and Recruiting
Alissa Aarts
Tel.:+49 2461 61 9700