Academic Employee / PhD Student (f/m/d) (67%) Promotional topic: Chemical Imaging of Catalysts in...

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Germany,
Job Type: PartTime
Deadline: 15 Mar 2021

Area of research:

PHD Thesis

Part-Time Suitability:

The position is suitable for part-time employment.

Starting date:


Job description:

The “X-ray Microscopy in Catalysis” (XRM) group strives to understand the structure and function of heterogeneous catalytic materials and processes - promoting efficient chemical synthesis, energy conversion technologies, and emission control. To achieve this, we perform advanced X-ray imaging at synchrotron light sources - allowing deep structural analysis across multiple dimensions (2D/3D), on hierarchical length scales (nm to mm) and under realistic reaction conditions (in situ/operando). These chemical imaging tools are supported by spectroscopic, microscopic, and diffraction-based characterization to develop a holistic view of catalysts and functional materials in action.

We are currently seeking a highly motivated, proactive researcher (f/m/d) to join our new project based within the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC1441) TrackAct - “Tracking the Active Site in Heterogeneous Catalysis for Emission Control”. The CRC is coordinated by KIT, in close collaboration with the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) ( ). As part of the XRM group, you will develop understanding of complex chemical systems and processes in the field of catalytic emissions control - focusing on novel technical grade catalysts developed within the CRC. To achieve this, you will employ X-ray microscopy and tomography, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, and developing imaging techniques such as X-ray ptychography.

This PhD position is in close cooperation with the world-leading synchrotron light source DESY (Hamburg, Germany), a multidisciplinary and cohesive environment shared by many branches of science and engineering. You will have the opportunity to participate in experiments at other synchrotron radiation sources worldwide in cooperation with the project partners. The PhD position is a unique opportunity to develop a career in research at the frontiers of chemistry, physics and materials science. The candidate will spend a significant amount of the time as scientist in Hamburg, Germany.


  • Develop and utilize experimental infrastructure for in situ/operando X-ray microscopy.

  • Combine X-ray microscopy, spectroscopy, fluorescence, diffraction, and mass spectrometry to understand catalyst structure-activity relationships.

  • Perform efficient data analysis on multimodal imaging and spectroscopy data, in order to visualize the structure and function of catalyst samples.

  • Develop excellent teamwork and communication skills, engage in strong collaboration with project partners, be willing to travel and thrive in an interdisciplinary research environment.

This research center is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. With more than 42,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific organisation.

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