PhD student in Energy material physics with specialization on Batteries

Updated: 22 days ago
Deadline: 26 Aug 2021

Published: 2021-07-13

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

The research conducted at the Department of Physics and Astronomy encompasses a wide range of physics topics, distributed over ten divisions. The department is located in the Ångström laboratory and employs nearly 400 people, 125 of whom are doctoral students. It offers a broad physics curriculum to undergraduate and graduate students, participation in nationally and internationally leading projects for researchers, and opportunities for partnership with industry and various outreach activities. More information to be found on our website

The Division of X-ray Photon Science is world-leading in the development of x-ray-based spectroscopy. It includes the program Condensed Matter Physics of Energy Materials focussing on research that promote understanding of electronic properties at the atomic level in new functional materials for applications in energy and environmental science.

Project description: The lithium-ion battery (LiB) belongs to the family of batteries that have among the highest energy density, a fact that makes them today dominate the market for portable energy sources. Electric car batteries are one such example with large investments in Sweden, both in terms of research environments as well as industry. The accelerating development demands detailed knowledge of the atomic processes that contribute to reversible and non-reversible chemical reactions in battery-like systems. Advanced methodology have been developed by the Division of X-ray Photon Science that constitute unique tools to acquire such knowledge. To advance this capability for studies of batteries new instrumentation and further methodology development is needed to allow studies of running batteries (in operando). Hard X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy for studies of functional material interfaces is such a methodology and an aim of the project is to develop this for studies on the physics governing stability, life span, and capacity. A key target is high energy density batteries, including silicon-based systems, and the project span fundamental to applied research.

Work duties and requirements:

  • to perform Photoelectron Spectroscopy experiments on LIB Si-anode materials
  • to drive the development of battery operandoand in-situ x-ray HAXPES methodology, at synchrotrons and fixed-wavelength sources.
  • to actively engage in in-situ sample preparation work of LIB materials, specifically targeting the dynamics of Li-insertion
  • to use the experimental result in modelling the physics that limits capacity and stability of the battery materials

The successful candidate for this PhD student position will have opportunity to study variety of lithium ion battery materials using x-ray-based methodology such as photoemission and complementary techniques. The candidate will be part of a collaborating research group that share the same general goal of unraveling the mechanisms that take place in complex systems such as energy materials.

The candidate should be highly motivated to pursue experimental x-ray-based research in an active team with interest to immerse oneself into physics aspects as well as advanced sample preparation aspects. The candidate should hold a master’s degree (or equivalent) in physics (possibly also materials science or physical chemistry). A solid education in materials physics or equivalent will be considered a merit. 

Fluency in both spoken and written English is an absolute prerequisite. Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.

The position as a Ph.D. student is limited to four years of full-time studies, consisting of research and coursework. Other duties at the department, related to teaching and administration, may extend the position at a level of most 20%. Further information is available at

Application: The application should include a personal letter, explaining scientific interests and motivation for pursuing a Ph.D. degree, CV, and a verified list of course grades. If available, a Master’s thesis (finished or in draft form) can also be included. Also, contact information of at least two reference persons should be included.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines .

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.
Starting date: 01-10-2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: Andreas Lindblad,

Please submit your application by 26 August 2021, UFV-PA 2021/3009.

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Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/3009

Last application date: 2021-08-26

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