Production and characterization of novel CO² reduction electro-catalysts based on bimetallic deposited clusters.

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 31 Jan 2021

(ref. BAP-2020-902)

Laatst aangepast : 13/11/2020

Research will be done at the Quantum Solid State Physics group, at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, which is part of the Faculty of Science of KU Leuven. Offices and laboratories are located in 3001 Heverlee (Leuven), Celestijnenlaan 200D. The selected candidate is willing to travel abroad within Europe as three periods of 1 to 2 months of mobility (secondment) at our EU partners are foreseen.


The ESR 8 at the Quantum Solid State Physics group at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of KU Leuven will be in charge of the production and the characterization of series of mass-selected bi- and multi-metallic clusters deposited on different substrates. This activity includes optimization and control of production (composition, size) and deposition (substrates) parameters, using the UHV cluster deposition setup, as well as the cluster morphology (following cluster surface interaction) by means of scanning probe microscopy techniques (AFM and STM), XPS, SEM and TEM on selected samples.  He/she will participate to the X-ray absorption measurements at the Swiss Light Source at our PSI partner in Switzerland and at the ESRF synchrotron facility, Grenoble, France, and contribute to the analysis of the data. In parallel, he/she will complete investigation by testing the catalytic activity and selectivity of cluster-modified electrodes by voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy in cells. He/she will be trained on cluster decorated electrodes and theoretical modelling during three periods of 1-3 months of mobility (secondment) at our VITO and BME partners.


Candidates should have (or about to obtain) a master degree in Chemistry, Physics or a closely related subject, be enthusiastic about experimental research, and ideally have a background in one or more of the following fields: physical chemistry, nanomaterial science, (electro)catalysis, electrochemistry, XAFS spectroscopy, electron microscopy. The successful candidate will have obtained excellent grades both in his/her Bachelor and Master degrees.


We offer a full time PhD position. A PhD at KU Leuven typically takes 4 years, where the contract is renewed yearly after positive evaluation. The starting date should ideally be May 2021, or in any case before July 2021.

For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact professor Peter Lievens at

Please check the employment conditions and apply online at before January 31st, 2021.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Peter Lievens at or Mr. Didier Grandjean at

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