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.
DIFFER is looking for a PhD on Operando Spectroscopy (x/f/m)
Description and scientific aim
Electrochemical materials and interfaces are present in many energy systems, such as fuel cells, batteries, or water splitting devices. The performance of such devices is strongly related to the materials and interface properties. Therefore, understanding and tuning of these properties are crucial in order to reach highest performance and to supply alternative, sustainable energy solutions for the future.
In the group “Electrochemical Materials and Interfaces (EMI)”, we focus on the fabrication, characterization, and optimization of photo-/electrochemical materials and interfaces. We are combining in a highly multidisciplinary approach experiments with modeling & simulations. This allows us to elucidate the limitations in the materials and at the interface and to design materials and interfaces with improved performance.
In this frame, we recently received a grant for two PhD students together with the group “Control Systems” of the Department of Electrical Engineering at TU/e (Prof. S. Weiland). The scientific aim of this grant is to identify the limitations at photo-electrochemical water splitting interfaces by intertwining operando spectroscopy with microkinetic modeling. You, as PhD student at DIFFER, will work fully experimentally on processing, characterization, and analyses of photoelectrodes with main focus on infrared and electrochemical spectroscopy. You will closely collaborate with the PhD student on modeling hired at TU/e.
Responsibilities and tasks:
- process and characterize electrode materials
- investigate the electrodes by operando spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR spectroscopy in combination with electrochemical spectroscopy)
- develop a model of the interfacial processes and validate your model with modeling results (in collaboration with the modeling PhD student of the project)
- collaborate with researchers from EMI and/or other scientific groups to discuss your research and to broaden and deepen your knowledge and expertise
- connect your data to ML and AI databases
- involve students in your project and supervise them (Master, Bachelor, interns)
- disseminate your research output at conferences and with scientific papers
- contribute actively to a vivid research environment in the EMI group and at DIFFER
Position and requirements
We seek an enthusiastic and talented experimental (electro)chemist, materials scientist, or physicist (with strong affinity to chemistry). A solid background in spectroscopy, in particular in ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, is desired as well as knowledge in electrochemical methods. Practical experience in the fields of water splitting or CO2 reduction is desirable. You are expected to work closely together with the modeling PhD student of the project which will be hired at TU/e. We therefore look for an excellent team player with superb communication skills and motivation to discuss science in a highly multidisciplinary field. Good verbal and written communication skills in English is a prerequisite in our international and interdisciplinary team.
Terms and conditions
This position is for 1 FTE, will be for a period of 4 years and is graded in pay scale PhD. The position will be based at DIFFER (www.differ.nl) and the working location will be at TU 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 (https://www.nwo-i.nl/en/working-at-nwo-i/jobsatnwoi/)
Information and application
For more information concerning the position please contact Anja Bieberle via a  bieberle  differ  nl. To apply for this position, please click the button underneath:
Go to the Vacancies page.