PhD Scholarship in Designing New Solid-State Batteries with Near-Temperature Oxygen Conductors

Updated: about 2 months ago

Are you interested in nanotechnologies and innovative energy solutions? Are you wondering what the future batteries will be?

At DTU Energý, we are continuously striving for innovative energy solutions, and we are now looking for a PhD candidate to be a part of new exciting research. Funded by the "Independent Research Council Denmark", we will work on NEMO "Nano-Engineered Solid State Ionic Metal Oxides for Near-Room Temperature Oxygen Conductivity" led by Prof. Vincenzo Esposito. The project is carried out by a dynamic team at the Functional Oxides section, which possesses excellent competencies and the most advanced investigations tools for advanced functional materials.

The project aims to fabricate nano-architectures of functional metal oxides materials to achieve fast oxygen conductors. These new materials will improve the current state-of-the-art solid-state ionics and open up applications in sensors, fuel cells and especially solid-state batteries.

The PhD project includes the following list of responsibilities:

  • Chemical synthesis: the candidate will fabricate ceramic targets for thin film deposition using the solid-state reaction and similar chemical methods.
  • PLD deposition: the candidate will assemble the materials by an advanced deposition technique, the pulsed laser deposition (PLD), that allows assembling the compounds with atomic precision.
  • Structural, microstructural and chemical compositions: the candidate will characterize the nanostructures using techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD) and electron microscopy techniques.
  • Electrochemical characterization: the candidate will characterize the deposited thin films by various electrochemical methods, including AC and DC techniques.
  • Interface characterization: Electrochemical nano- and micro-probes are used to characterize ionic conductivity at the nano-architecture interface.
  • Batteries: the candidate will characterize prototype devices by cyclic voltammetry, potentiostatic and amperometric methods.

Other characterization methods at various synchrotron facilities in the EU will be adopted throughout the project. The project includes an external stay of 3-6 months at an excellent international partner. As a part of the employment, you will be involved in several activities in our department regarding clean energy materials and technologies for a transition to a green future.

To be eligible, you have:

  • An MSc degree in chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering, or similar
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and spoken
  • The ability to work independently with a strong drive, to plan and carry out complicated tasks
  • Interest in contributing positively to a new research group with a collaborative and diverse culture
  • A creative mindset for solving problems and identify new directions and opportunities in your project.

We also value (but do not require) experience with:

  • Solid-state batteries and solid oxide fuel cells.
  • PLD.
  • Hands-on lab work with metal oxides and electroceramics.
  • Characterization of materials by X-ray diffraction, Scanning electron microscopy, and Atomic force microscopy
  • Electrochemical characterization techniques including impedance spectroscopy, DC methods and cyclic voltammetry.

Approval and Enrolment for PhDs
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the Link . 

The assessment of the applicants will be made by: Professor Vincenzo Esposito, Dr Francesco Chiambrera, and Head of Section, Professor Nini Pryds.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointments will be for three years and be based on the collective agreement with the Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The employment is expected to start December 1st , 2021 or shortly after that.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
If you need further information concerning these positions, don't hesitate to contact Prof. Vincenzo Esposito at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 17 October 2021 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file.The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here )
  • List of publications (if any) indicating scientific highlights
  • List of references (at least two)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

In our ongoing efforts to not let unconscious bias sway the result of our shortlisting, we have introduced a blinded shortlisting procedure. As part of your online application process, you will be invited to answer 22 screening questions. All questions are customized only for this position, and your anonymized answers will be stored and used only for shortlisting for this particular position.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Energy
The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. The department is focusing on functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technology. Our research areas include fuel cells, electrolysis, polymer solar cells, magnetic refrigeration, superconductivity, thermoelectrics, sustainable synthetic fuels, and batteries. Additional information about the department can be found on .

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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