PhD Student in Chemistry of Interfaces

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 14 Jan 2024

Luleå University of Technology is in strong growth with world-leading competence in several research areas. We shape the future through innovative education and ground-breaking research results, and based on the Arctic region, we create global social benefit. Our scientific and artistic research and education are conducted in close collaboration with international, national and regional companies, public actors and leading universities. Luleå University of Technology has a total turnover of SEK 1.9 billion per year. We currently have 1,840 employees and 17,670 students.

In the coming years, multi-billion investments will be made in large projects in Northern Sweden to create a fossil-free society both nationally and globally. Luleå University of Technology is involved in several of these cutting-edge research projects and in the societal transformation that they entail. We offer a broad range of courses and study programmes to match the skills in demand. We hope that you will help us to build the sustainable companies and societies of the future.

The Division of Chemical Engineering is searching for a PhD student within the research subject Chemistry of Interfaces with a research focus on synthesis and characterization of halogen-free and non-flammable electrolytes for batteries.

Subject description
Chemistry of Interfaces deals with both experimental and theoretical aspects of the heterogeneous processes that occur at interfaces between liquid, solid and gas phases, as well as with the development of novel surface-sensitive analytical techniques for studying these processes at the molecular level.

Project description
Conventional electrolytes are solutions of fluorinated lithium salts dissolved in organic solvents. Such electrolytes have a number of drawbacks including toxicity, high flammability, high vapour pressure, and low thermal and electrochemical stabilities. There is therefore an urgent need to replace these electrolytes with non-flammable and halogen-free alternatives in order to improve both safety and performance. Ionic liquids are salts that are liquids at or below 100 °C and possess a number of unique properties such as non-volatility, non-flammability, high thermal stability, high ionic conductivity, high chemical and electrochemical stability and functional designability. Due to this, ionic liquids are considered as a suitable component for future electrolytes. However, most of the commercially available ionic liquids and salts contain fluorinated anions making them less environmentally benign, expensive and cumbersome to produce and also problematic in the recycling stage. Therefore, development of new non-flammable and high performant electrolytes is highly desirable.

The project is a collaboration between the Chemistry of Interfaces research group at the Division of Chemical Engineering, Luleå University of Technology and the Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg.

As a PhD student you are expected to perform both experimental and theoretical work within your research studies as well as communicate your results at national and international conferences and in scientific journals. Most of your working time will be devoted to your own research studies. In addition, you can have the opportunity to try the teacher role. As a researcher, you work as a neutral party in many contexts, which provides a great opportunity to be involved in challenging development projects.

The main focus here is to design, synthesize and characterize halogen-free and non-flammable electrolytes. The target is to start from readily available, economic and green materials using benign synthetic procedures. The resulting electrolytes will be characterized using multinuclear NMR, FTIR, and Raman spectroscopic techniques. In addition, physicochemical properties such as density, viscosity, thermal behavior, and ionic conductivity, together with electrochemical stability and battery performance will be measured. Some of the experiments will be carried out at the Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg.

For further information about a specific subject see;

General curricula for the Board of the faculty of science and technology

In order to be eligible, you must have a master’s degree in chemistry and a good knowledge of and experience in organic synthesis and physicochemical characterization. You as a PhD student should be very good in written and spoken English. Experience in synthesis of supermolecules, and physical and electrochemical characterization is considered as an advantage.

Further information
Employment as a PhD student is limited to 4 years, teaching and other department duties may be added with max 20%. Placement: Luleå. Starting: upon agreement.

For more information please contact:
Faiz Ullah Shah, Associate Professor in Chemistry of Interfaces (+46)920-49 1291 ([email protected]) ,

Patrik Johansson, Professor at the Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, [email protected]

Union representatives:
SACO-S Kjell Johansson (+46)920-49 1529 [email protected]
OFR-S Lars Frisk, (+46)920-49 1792 [email protected]

In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

We prefer that you apply for this position by clicking on the apply button below. The application should include a CV, personal letter and copies of verified diplomas from high school and universities. Mark your application with the reference number below. Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English or Swedish.

Last day of application:14 January 2024
Reference number: 4988-2023

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