PhD position in electrochemistry

Updated: over 1 year ago
Location: Germany,
Deadline: 12 Nov 2019

As a member of the Helmholtz Association, Forschungszentrum Jülich makes an effective contribution to solving major challenges facing society in the fields of information, energy, and bioeconomy. It focuses on varied tasks in the area of research management and utilizes large, often unique, scientific infrastructure. Come and work with around 6,100 colleagues across a range of topics and disciplines at one of Europe's largest research centres.

The "Helmholtz-Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energies" (HI ERN) is as IEK-11 a part of Forschungszentrum Jülich. The institute works in close collaboration with the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The collaboration between the partners is focussed on the research areas of innovative materials and processes for photovoltaic energy and solar fuels, as well as for hydrogen technologies, therefore covering novel approaches for conversion and storage of CO2 neutral energy. More information about HI-ERN can be found at

The successful candidate will be part of the Electrochemical Energy Conversion group led by Dr. Serhiy Cherevko of Electrocatalysis research unit of the HI ERN. Our research interests are primarily in the field of electrochemical performance of materials used in electrochemical energy conversion, i.e. fuel cells and water electrolysis, and photoelectrochemistry. We focus on understanding the complex interplays between materials properties and electrochemical environment and their influences on materials electrochemical performance, in both fundamental and applied research. Thereby the aim is to significantly contribute to the development of electrochemical energy conversion as a future key player for electromobility and the energy policy in general.

We are offering a

PhD position in electrochemistry

Your Job:

The available PhD position is related to our activities in renewable hydrogen generation by means of water electrolysis. In this collaborative project we aim at a more advanced understanding the catalyst support interactions in iridium based oxygen evolution reaction electrocatalysts. The eventual goal is development of more active and stable supported electrocatalysts and thus decrease of iridium loading in electrolysers. Hence, experience in fundamental electrochemistry, physical chemistry or catalysis is desirable.

Your tasks will include the following:

  • planning and execution of experiments based on the goals proposed in the proposal
  • preparation of model thin film electrodes using the physical vapour deposition techniques
  • optimization of catalysts inks and preparation of applied nanoparticles based electrodes using ink-jet printing
  • physico chemical and surface characterization of the prepared electrodes using available in the institute microscopy and spectroscopy techniques
  • measurements of iridium catalysts activity using electrochemical methods
  • analysis and communication of the obtained experimental data
  • writing papers and presenting the results in conferences

Your Profile:
  • excellent university degree in Chemistry/Physics/Material science, Chemical engineering or a relevant discipline
  • previous experience in fundamental and/or applied electrochemistry and one (or more) of the following is desirable: fuel cells; water electrolysis; development of coupled electrochemical/non-electrochemical techniques.
  • strong interest in pursuing research in a multidisciplinary project related to the optimization of electrocatalysts for fuel cells and water electrolysis
  • high motivation for pursuing a PhD within 3 years
  • excellent organizational skills
  • ability to show initiative and work independently
  • excellent cooperation and communication skills and ability to work as part of a team
  • excellent skills in spoken and written English

Our Offer:
  • an excellent international environment to perform sound, high-quality research at the international level
  • daily, hands-on experience in worldwide-unique electrochemical characterization techniques
  • active participation in project meetings, as well as on national and international conferences to present the results and to develop further competences
  • a lively scientific environment within the institute and possibilities for cooperation with excellent partners at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and numerous partners in Germany and abroad
  • interaction and cooperation with world-leading industrial partners
  • strong support and mentoring for setting up a future career in science and/or the industry
  • extensive range of further training courses
  • a wide range of options for reconciling work and family life
  • limited position for 3 years
  • pay in line with 75 % of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund)

Place of employment: Erlangen

Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particularly welcomes applications from women.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

We look forward to receiving your application, preferably via our online recruitment system  until 12. November 2019 on our career site, quoting the reference number 2019-367.

Questions about the vacancy?

Contact us by mentioning the reference number 2019-367:  Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via e-mail.

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