Postdoc in nanostructure electrodeposition and electrocatalysis

Updated: 6 months ago
Deadline: 02 Apr 2023

Department of Chemistry
Faculty of Science

University of Copenhagen

The Department of Chemistry invites applicants for a postdoc position in electrodeposition of nanostructured catalysts for the electrochemical oxidation of biomass-derived molecules. This project is part of the research project entitled “Electrosynthesis of model Nanocatalysts for the production of renewable chemicals (EleNa)” which is financed by the Villum foundation and led by Assistant Professor Paula Sebastián Pascual. 

The start date of the position is 15 August 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is initially offered for 2 years.

The project

In a carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion or water-splitting electrolyser, the CO2 or water molecules are reduced at the cathode, and water is oxidized to oxygen at the anode. The water oxidation or oxygen evolution reaction (OER) requires high applied overpotentials, which highly reduces the energy efficiency of the electrolyser. In contrast, the oxidation of organic molecules derived from biomass, consumes considerably less energy than the OER, being a promising alternative oxidation reaction at the anode. The project aims to prepare new nanostructured materials, by using electrodeposition technique, for the electrochemical oxidation of biomass-derived molecules, such as furfural oxidation, coupled or under conditions of CO2-electrolysis.

We are part of the Nano-Science Center and the Center of High Entropy Alloy Catalysis (CHEAC) at the Department of Chemistry at University of Copenhagen (UCPH). Our research project is highly interdisciplinary and you will closely collaborate with theoreticians, electrochemists, chemists, and materials scientists within CHEAC and the Chemistry Department, and with international collaborators.

Your tasks

As a postdoc researcher, your work responsibilities will include:

  • You will prepare nanostructured thin films using electrodeposition methods. You will use aqueous and non-aqueous solvents (e.g. ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents) to tune both surface structure and composition of the deposited nanostructures. You will characterize the prepared nanostructures electrochemically and with ex-situ characterization techniques (e.g., with electron microscopy).
  • You will also carry out basic electrochemical characterization of extended surfaces, such as single facets and polycrystalline electrodes, to address the intrinsic catalytic properties of the prepared nanostructured catalysts. 
  • You will test the electrocatalytic performance of the prepared nanomaterials toward the oxidation of biomass-derived organic molecules (e.g., furfural oxidation) and possibly for the electrochemical CO2 reduction.
  • You will take part in the protocol and setup development to perform product detection with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) technique.
  • You will participate in regular laboratory tasks within the research group as part of the normal daily activities in a team-driven laboratory environment.
  • You will co-supervise master students.
  • You will teach.
  • You will participate in national and international conferences.

 Your profile

  • You preferably hold a Ph.D. degree in Electrochemistry or Material Science.
  • You have demonstrated experimental experience in electrochemistry. You have experience in preparing nanostructured materials by electrodeposition technique or by using other methods.  
  • Experience with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry technique is considered.
  • Experience in the electrochemical characterization of extended surfaces such as single crystalline electrodes is a plus.
  • You are cooperative, communicative, self-motivated, and high quality-oriented. 
  • You are committed to writing post-doctoral grant applications through e.g., a MSCA Individual Fellowship or similar schemes.
  • Excellent language and communication skills in English.
  • You have at least 2 or 3 peer-reviewed publications.

What do we offer? 

We are a young group with experimental experience in Electrochemistry. Our research focuses on preparing nanostructured catalysts with tuned surface structure and composition using electrodeposition technique. We focus on assessing how different aqueous and non-aqueous solvents, such as ionic liquids, affect both the first stages and the growth of the electrodeposited nanostructures. We also experimentally investigate both the electrocatalytic and interfacial properties of extended and well-defined surfaces, e.g., single crystalline electrodes, to rationally assess structure effects in electrocatalysis and address the intrinsic catalytic performance of our nanostructures.

At the electrochemistry laboratory, we have equipment for electrochemical materials preparation and electrochemical in-situ characterization. Facilities at both UCPH and CHEAC also include spectroscopic techniques, electron microscopies, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES) and computational methods. 

Further information on the Department is linked at . Inquiries about the position can be made to Paula Sebastián Pascual:

The position is open from 15 August 2023or as soon as possible thereafter.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Motivation letter. In the motivation letter you should briefly summarize your research experience, and how you meet the requirements of this position.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Complete publication list.
  • Separate reprints of 2 particularly relevant papers.

The deadline for applications is 2 April 2023, 23:59 GMT +2.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at .

Interviews will be held in week 23 2023.

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

View or Apply

Similar Positions