Two PhD Scholarships

Updated: 7 months ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

Create new ways to study electrochemical processes to push the frontiers in electrolysis with transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

Join our team to develop advanced electrochemical characterization for energy storage and be involved in high profile research at the forefront of science.

We have two available positions as PhD students in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage (DTU Energy), Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The positions are 100% funded. Our research project will give unique knowledge by making it possible to directly observe the electrochemical processes in solid oxide electrolysis cells with nanoscale characterization in a transmission electron microscope (TEM) and combining this with electrochemical analysis, such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS).

You can apply for one or both projects simultaneously that will aim at developing ways to answer two big questions in electrolysis that are needed to develop an efficient green energy infrastructure:

  • PhD project 1:How does the structure and composition of solid oxide electrolysis materials influence their electrochemical results? Focus will be on metal oxide nanofibers of electrode and electrolyte materials. The nanofibers will be prepared by electrospinning. Electrochemical TEM experiments will be performed with nanofibers using a commercial heating/biasing TEM holder. An optimal procedure for handling, mounting the nanofibers and for conducting electrochemical in situ TEM experiments will be developed. Modelling of the sample and MEMS chip geometry will be performed to optimize for EIS-TEM experiments. The experimental work will primarily be sample preparation, mounting and electrochemical TEM experiments. The aim is to directly relate structure/composition with electrochemical results for solid oxide electrolysis materials. The purpose is to offer a detailed description of the dynamical changes in the materials as a function of the electrochemical environment (reactive gasses, high temperatures, electrical polarization).
  • PhD project 2:What is the relation between structure and performance for thin film electrolyser materials? Focus will be on development of a new MEMS chip platform for electrochemical TEM experiments. A MEMS chip design developed at DTU will be modified and optimized for high temperature EIS-TEM experiments. Also, a new heating/biasing chip concept will be developed in collaboration with Norcada, a leading company in the fabrication of MEMS devices for scientific applications, and the University of Toronto. The samples are layered model solid oxide electrolysis cells prepared by pulsed laser deposition (PLD). Robust procedures for mounting and connecting such model cells without breaking the sample or shortcutting the cell will be developed. The student will make a proof-of-concept for conducting EIS-TEM experiments on complex TEM samples where EIS and other electrochemical results are linked with nanoscale local variations in the materials near the electrolyte-electrode interface.
  • Both students will be part of the team for our 5-years ERC project “High-temperature Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Transmission electron microscopy on energy materials” (HEIST).

    Applicable for both scholarships

    Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) within physics, chemistry or materials science or related engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

    The following qualifications are required:

    • A good drive and high motivation
    • Good communication skills in English
    • Being able to work independently and in a team
    • Competences within electrochemistry, preferably impedance spectroscopy and/or solid oxide electrochemistry/electrolysis

    Candidates with the following qualifications are a plus:

    • Experience with electron microscopy such as TEM or for example focused ion beam
    • Experience with MEMS devices
    • Experience in pulsed laser deposition or electrospinning

    Approval and Enrolment

    The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide .


    The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate professor Søren Bredmose Simonsen (

    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 appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

    Further information.

    Further information may be obtained from Søren Bredmose Simonsen, .

    Please submit your online application no later than 15 October 2019 (local 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 out 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
    • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
    • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here in the right hand column)

    In the field “Please indicate which position(s) you would like to apply for”, please indicate which project you are applying for (title from the above list of PhD projects or individual research projects).

    Incomplete applications will not be considered. Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

    Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

    DTU Energy is focusing on functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technology. Our research areas include fuel cells, electrolysis, solar cells, magnetic refrigeration, superconductivity and thermoelectrics. Additional information about the department can be found on

    DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.

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