DIFFER is the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research, one of the nine research institutes of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The institute focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to energy research, combining physics, chemistry, engineering and materials science. DIFFER's research takes place in two main themes: Solar Fuels for the conversion and storage of renewable energy and Fusion Energy as a clean and unlimited source of energy. DIFFER develops and supports a national network on fundamental energy research and collaborates closely with the academic community and industrial partners.

In framework of the European Commission funded KEROGREEN project, the CCER group at DIFFER, has a vacancy for a postdoc researcher. KEROGREEN is a multinational project that aims for a novel conversion route to sustainable aviation fuel, synthesized from H2O and CO2, and powered by renewable electricity. The sustainable kerosene emits less soot and no sulphur, therefore it meets future aviation air pollution standards. The conversion is based on plasma driven CO2 dissociation, solid oxide membranes, and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of kerosene. Synergy between plasma activated species and novel perovskite electrodes used for oxygen separation is expected to increase both the CO productivity and energy efficiency.

Scientific aim: 

Computational studies to be performed at DIFFER will assist in the development of perovskite materials for the efficient separation of O2 from the plasma gas mixture consisting of CO2, CO, O2, and associated atoms, radicals, ions and electrons. An original aim is to virtually design new perovskite electrodes. Our strategy is to use ground and excited state computations based on ab initio methods to study the performance of variant perovskite materials. The computational work involves generating a virtual library of candidate perovskite systems and performing electronic structure calculations on these newly generated candidates to optimize their structures and to predict the relevant properties. A complementary aim is to study the impact of surface charging, due to plasma and external bias, on the binding interactions of molecular and atomic species with the most promising newly tuned perovskites.

Responsibilities and tasks: 

The research tasks are highly interdisciplinary and will perfectly line up with emerging research lines and granted projects at DIFFER.

  • Generate a virtual library of interesting perovskite candidate materials.
  • Perform ground and excited state calculations to predict structural and electronic features of candidates.
  • Compile calculation data into database.
  • Write-up project reports and scientific publications.

We seek enthusiastic candidates that are willing to work in an international and interdisciplinary team of physicists and chemists. The applicant should have a recent PhD in computational materials science, physics, chemistry or a closely related field and experience in electronic structure calculations using common ab initio software. Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated experience in database development. Good programming skills (e.g. Python) are essential as well as good verbal and written communication skills in English are mandatory.

Employment conditions: 

We offer a stimulating work environment in the area of fundamental energy research. You will have a temporary employment contract for the duration of 2 years. The gross monthly salary is dependent on qualifications and experience and will be up to a maximum of 4,154 euro gross per month. The salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of year bonus of 8.33%. NWO and DIFFER have number of regulations that support employees in finding a good work-life balance. Such as conditions for teleworking, partly paid parental leave and the possibility to purchase and sell holiday leave. General information on working at NWO can also be found at the NWO website (

Further information: 

The 'NWO job interview code' applies to this position. DIFFER strives to achieve a diverse workforce to develop talent and creativity by bringing together different perspectives. As such we encourage applications from women and minorities. Further information on the vacancy is available through Dr. Süleyman Er, research group website:, tel: +31 (0) 40 3334 936, email: s [368] er [28] differ [368] nl

Application procedure: 

In case you are interested you can apply by submitting an application letter and a full resume (including a list of publications). Please refer to vacancy 18.004. The letter of application may be sent electronically to: vacancies [28] differ [368] nl

Closing date: 
Friday, April 6, 2018
Vacacany number: