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Phd position at Christian Doppler Laboratory: Development of dual-phase electrodes for metal-supported fuel cells

Advertising institute: IEK-1 - Materials Synthesis and Processing
Reference number: 2017-318

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: Development of dual-phase electrodes for 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. 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. One main goal is the increase of electrochemical performance by optimizing the electrode design. In this context, two approaches will be in the focus of the PhD thesis.

a.) Dual phase cathodes on the basis of LSCF/GDC and LSC/GDC: Adding gadolinium doped ceria to established LSCF and LSC cathodes aims on the improvement of the adherence of the cathode directly after sintering. Additionally, it is aspired to increase the electrochemical performance of the cathode by adaption of the microstructure and by optimization of the LSCF/GDC and LSC/GDC ratio. Processing studies will accompanied by comprehensive electrochemical characterization.

b.) Dual phase anodes on the basis of Ni/GDC: Specific processing of metal-supported fuel cells leads to a strong coarsening of the Ni-phase already during sintering, which is usually done under reducing conditions to protect the metal substrate from strong oxidation. To overcome this coarsening effect, two different approaches will be investigating aiming on to stabilize the Ni-phase during sintering by suitable adding of a second phase. The work will be accompanied by wetting studies of Ni on GDC.

Your Profile:

  • Excellent university degree in mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, process engineering or material sciences
  • Experience in the field of preparation and manufacturing of metallic and ceramic materials by the powder route
  • Knowledge in the field of phases analytics, electrochemistry and/or sintern 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


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