PhD Position – Development of electrospun separators for Aluminum-Ion batteries

Updated: about 1 month ago

Your Job:

The success of the energy transition is heavily dependent on innovative and efficient electrochemical energy storage systems. Currently, Li-ion is the most promising energy-storage technology. However, in view of the limited lithium and cobalt availability and their unpredictable price development, it is very challenging to cover the (stationary) storage segment with Li-based technology alone. Inexpensive batteries with a long service life, abundantly available and easily recyclable electrode materials such as aluminum and graphite are promising to make a significant contribution in the growing market segment of stationary storage devices. Due to the ecological harmlessness and the low costs for aluminum, graphite and other cell components, AI-ion battery technology is predestined for stationary applications in particular. In the ALIBES-project, Al-ion battery technology will be investigated, whereby the goal of this PhD-study is to develop a separator material to inhibit the formation of aluminum dendrites. This is important, as dendrite formation might lead to short circuits in the battery. In this project your main tasks are:

  • Synthesis and optimization of electrospun Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based separator materials
  • Characterization of the developed materials with electron microscopy, contact angle measurements, porometry and tomography
  • Electrochemical experiments to investigate the influence of the separator on the dendrite formation
  • Identification of additives to improve the properties of the separator
  • Development of a recycling procedure for the PAN-based separator Collaborating with other partners in the ALIBES project
  • Writing scientific documents and presenting the results at meetings and conferences

Your Profile:

  • Masters degree in Chemistry, Physics, Material Science or comparable field
  • Experience in different methods for material characterization
  • Skills in electrochemistry are of advantage
  • Experience in laboratory work
  • Independent and result-oriented way of working
  • Strong ability to work in a team and flexibility
  • Good communication skills in spoken and written English; German skills are advantageous

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

  • Comprehensive training courses and individual opportunities for personal and professional further development
  • Extensive company health management
  • Ideal conditions for balancing work and private life, as well as a family-friendly corporate policy
  • A large research campus with green spaces, offering the best possible means for networking with colleagues and pursuing sports alongside work
  • Flexible work (location) arrangements, e.g. remote work
  • 30 days of annual leave and provision for days off between public holidays and weekends (e.g. between Christmas and New Year)
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. through an extensive range of training courses; a structured program of continuing education and networking opportunities specifically for doctoral researchers via JuDocS, the Jülich Center for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors: https://www.fz-juelich.de/en/judocs
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service


The position is for a fixed term of 3 years. Pay in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60 % of a monthly salary as special payment („Christmas bonus“). Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at: https://www.fz-juelich.de/gp/Careers_Docs

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.


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