Postdoc position Emerging materials and architectures for AEM electrolysers


The Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) performs leading fundamental research on materials, processes, and systems for a global sustainable energy infrastructure. We work in close partnership with (inter)national academia and industry. Our user facilities are open to industry and university researchers. As an institute of the Dutch Research Council (NWO) DIFFER plays a key role in fundamental research for the energy transition.

We use a multidisciplinary approach applicable on two key areas, solar fuels for the conversion and storage of renewable energy and nuclear fusion – as a clean source of energy.

Emerging materials and architectures for AEM electrolysers

To address climate change and its long-term multidimensional impacts, the Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperature increase. In order to fulfill its commitments to the agreement, a climate accord was signed in the Netherlands setting the goal of 49% reduction in CO2 by 2030. It is widely agreed that HYDROGEN will play a pivotal role in the low-carbon energy transition. Aiming for solutions that can be scaled up apart from efficiency, sustainability should be also concerned. Conventional electrolysis approaches are based either using scarce/expensive materials or are not compatible with an intermittent electricity supply of renewables, such as wind or solar energy. AEM (anion exchange membrane) electrolysers are an emerging solution to these issues since they are based on zero gap design and abundant materials. Currently there is a plethora of emerging materials with promising performance when tested at mild operating conditions. In the frame of a national consortium DIFFER aims to investigate these materials under realistic conditions in order to identify and overcome limitations with the design of novel electrode architectures and prototype cells.

This postdoc position involves:

  • Conduct and coordinate research on the field of AEM electrolysis.
  • Development and characterization of materials and gas diffusion electrodes
  • Physicostructural material characterization (XRD, XPS, SEM)
  • Assembling and characterization of AEM membrane electrode assemblies
  • Evaluation of AEM cells at wide range of operating conditions from neutral to alkaline and from room to elevated temperature
  • Gas phase analysis of reaction products (GC, MS, FTIR)
  • Supervise PhD students on the aforementioned tasks.
  • Preparation of scientific papers and conference communications.
  • Contribution to the scientific and collaborative research environment at DIFFER.

The work will be conducted in the framework of the NWA-ECCM project “SCALE”. In this project, DIFFER, TU/e, FONTYS, ISPT, Syngaschem, VSparticle and VECO precision have combined efforts for the successful implementation of hydrogen production and storage.

Position and requirements

  • PhD in material science or electrochemistry or closely related field
  • Practical laboratory experience with AEM electrolysis
  • Proven can-do attitude, coming up with practical working solutions is a must
  • Strong communication skills and attitude to participate successfully in multidisciplinary projects
  • Ability to work well individually and as a team member
  • Good communication skills in English (both written and spoken)

Terms and conditions

This position is for 0,8 - 1 FTE, will be for a period of three years and is graded in pay scale 10. The position will be based at DIFFER ( and the working location will be Eindhoven. When fulfilling a position at DIFFER, you will have an employee status at NWO. You can participate in all the employee benefits NWO offers. We have a number of regulations that support employees in finding a good work-life balance. At DIFFER we believe that a workforce diverse in gender, age and cultural background is key to performing excellent research. We therefore strongly encourage everyone to apply. More information on working at NWO can be found at the NWO website (

Information and application

For more information concerning the position please see: To apply for this position, please click the button underneath. Applications by e-mail cannot be taken into consideration. 

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