We are offering a

PhD Position – Three-dimensional characterization of metal electrodes by X-ray tomography

titel

At the Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Fundamentals of Electrochemistry (IEK-9), we perform research on highly relevant topics related to the energy transition. For example, we investigate the battery of the future and new battery concepts. How we can turn the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) into the fuel of the future or how electrolysis can contribute to a hydrogen energy economy are other exciting projects. The aim is to develop sustainable and cost-effective batteries and fuel cells with improved energy and power density, longer life-time, and maximal safety. Find out more about our mission and future-oriented projects here: https://go.fzj.de/IEK-9

Institute issuing the offer
IEK-9
external id
2023D-122

Your Job:

In pursuit of better energy storage solutions, IEK-9 is researching novel battery systems such as metal-air utilizing environmentally friendly, cheap, abundant materials (e.g. Zinc or Iron). The leap to practical application of metal-air batteries won’t happen without deep understanding of the degradation processes occurring at different conditions and modes of operation. The failure mechanism of a cell is often manifested by changes in the morphology of active material. However, besides the anode, such a cell consists of electrolyte, cathode (membrane providing oxygen for reaction), current collector and separator. This makes the whole system more complex. Even a slight change to pH or molarity of electrolyte, might drastically alter its behavior, and up to now – there is no comprehensive study quantitatively linking the environmental variables (pH, molarity) with observed morphology and electrochemical information. It is caused by practical limitations of typical metallographic techniques such as destructive, time-consuming sample preparation and complexity of operando setup. Therefore, imaging techniques such as X-ray computed tomography (XCT), play an important role in providing statistical data necessary to evaluate such a system1. XCT is non-destructive, does not require sample preparation and is able to deliver 3D information in reasonable time if boosted by the machine learning (ML). This thesis will be a significant milestone on the way to practical application of metal-air batteries. Observation, via XCT, of the morphology of active material responding in operando to different variables (e.g. pH, molarity) will provide unique insight into the degradation processes taking place. Moreover, acquired imaging data, thanks to its good statistical power, can be used for quantification and to create the universal model incorporating all the variables affecting the performance of the system. Your tasks will include:

  • Literature study on variables affecting the metal electrode evolution during its operation
  • Modification of existing measurement protocol or creating a new one
  • Boosting the measurement protocol using ML
  • Design of the cell optimized for XCT
  • Planning the long-term experiment
  • Conducting the measurements
  • Statistical analysis of the acquired data

Your Profile:

  • Completed Master’s degree in chemistry, physics or related fields
  • Strong interest in statistical analysis, electrochemistry, and imaging techniques
  • Experience in data evaluation and electrochemistry is of advantage
  • Some practical experience in programming is of advantage
  • Excellent ability to work as a part of interdisciplinary team and in cooperative manner
  • Very good communication skills
  • Ability to show initiative and work independently in a structured, organized way
  • Fluency in English language

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

  • Excellent conditions for remote working in a home office
  • A highly motivated working group as well as an international and interdisciplinary working environment at one of Europe’s largest research establishments
  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure
  • Opportunity to participate in (international) conferences and project meetings
  • Continuous scientific mentoring by your scientific advisor
  • 30 days of annual leave and provision for days off between public holidays and weekends (e.g. between Christmas and New Year)
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. through an extensive range of training courses; a structured program of continuing education and networking opportunities specifically for doctoral researchers via JuDocS, the Jülich Center for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors: https://www.fz-juelich.de/en/judocs
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service

In addition to exciting tasks and a collaborative working atmosphere at Jülich, we have a lot more to offer: https://go.fzj.de/benefits

The position is for a fixed term of 3 years. Pay in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60 % of a monthly salary as special payment („Christmas bonus“). Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at: https://www.fz-juelich.de/gp/Careers_Docs

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.

We look forward to receiving your application. The job will be advertised until the position has been successfully filled. You should therefore submit your application as soon as possible.

Apply now

Questions about the offer?

Please feel free to contact us via our contact form.
Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications by e-mail.

Last Modified: 10.11.2023