PhD Student, In situ TEM on lithium-sulfur battery cathode particles

Updated: 2 months ago

Department: Department of Physics
Regime Full-time

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PhD Student, In situ TEM on lithium-sulfur battery cathode particles

Department of Physics


EMAT (Electron Microscopy for Materials Science) is seeking a PhD student to work on a project between different Belgian Universities, focussed on the development of a next generation of lithium-sulphur batteries.
The overall project aims to accelerate the maturation of lithium-sulphur batteries for future wide deployment in electrochemical-energy-storage applications. Current lithium-sulphur batteries have a short life span and suffer from a significant rate of aging. The aging phenomena are multifaceted and different from those in state-of-the-art commercial lithium ion batteries. The project will tackle the current knowledge gap in lithium-sulphur batteries on the detailed dynamics of aging and performance loss at the electrode and cell level by building in-depth quantitative understanding of aging dynamics at particle, electrode, and cell level, and by the development of strategically designed lithium-sulphur particles and electrodes optimized to mitigate aging.
The Ph.D. student located at EMAT will study the evolution of the structure and morphology of the particles and electrodes using ex situ and in situ TEM imaging, spectroscopy and electron diffraction, including 3DED, during ongoing charge-discharge cycles.  The Ph.D. student will collaborate with Ph.D. students at the University of Hasselt, University of Ghent, imec and VITO within this project, who are responsible for synthesis and measurement of electrochemical properties, to create new knowledge on the aging phenomena of lithium-sulphur batteries.

Research group

EMAT is one of the leading electron microscopy centres in the world and has a vast expertise in both fundamental and applied electron microscopy. EMAT has several state of the art electron microscopes including three aberration corrected, high end FEI-Titan instruments, a dual beam FIB, an environmental SEM,... More about us at our webpage .

Job description

  • You will study the evolution of the structure and morphology during electrochemical cycling of the lithium-sulfur particles and electrodes developed within the project, using in situ and ex situ TEM.
  • You prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of sciences.
  • You write and publish scientific articles related to the research project of the assignment.
  • You present your work at national and international workshops and conferences.
  • You will be employed at the University of Antwerp and closely interact with teams at the University of Hasselt, University of Ghent, imec and VITO.


  • You hold a Master degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Electrochemical Engineering, Materials Engineering or Applied Sciences Engineering or you will have obtained it by the time you start work.
  • You work with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.
  • You like to think of creative solutions and implement them to put your ideas into practice.
  • You have a strong drive to learn new things.
  • You are interested and highly motivated to work with the challenging and innovative technique of in situ electrochemical transmission electron microscopy.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies .

We offer

  • a doctoral scholarship for a period of 1 year. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed for another 3 years.
  • exciting state-of-the-art research on a path towards a PhD
  • a world-class research environment with state-of-the-art instrumentation (our webpage )
  • a monthly scholarship amount calculated according to the scholarship amounts  set by the University of Antwerp.
  • The position will be filled as soon as possible. The starting date is 1st of September 2021 or as soon as possible after this date, adaptable to the selected candidate's availability.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here .

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform until 3 June 2021 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments:
    •  a motivation letter
    • your academic CV (including followed courses, honours, previous work, publications, …)
    • a weblink to a short video introducing yourself,
    • contact info of 2 professional referees.
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to . Additional information about the job itself can be obtained from: Joke Hadermann,

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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