PhD position - Membrane development - Proton-Ceramic Membrane Reactors
Forschungszentrum Jülich

PhD position - Membrane development - Proton-Ceramic Membrane Reactors

  • PhD / Postdoc / Thesis (From 25 to 36 months)
  • Jülich (Germany)
  • Published on September 14 2021
At the Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Fundamentals of Electrochemistry (IEK-9), we perform research on highly relevant topics related to the energy transition. For example, we investigate new battery concepts and how we can turn the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) into the fuel of the future. The aim is to develop sustainable and cost-effective electrochemical systems with improved energy and power density, longer life-time, and maximal safety. Find out more about our mission and future-oriented projects here: https://go.fzj.de/IEK-9

We are looking to recruit a

PhD position - Membrane development - Proton-Ceramic Membrane Reactors

Your Job:

Electrochemistry is expected to play an important role in the transition away from fossil-fuels to a renewable energy and a hydrogen based economy. As part of the Power-to-X, iNEW2 (Inkubator für Nachhaltige Elektrochemische Wertschöpfung) project with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung - BMBF), we are investigating the use of excess renewable energy to upgrade greenhouse gases such as CH4 and CO2 into carbon-neutral and -negative higher-value products. Intermediate temperature ceramic hydrogen transport membranes offer the unique capability to accomplish this, so we are pursuing efforts in solid-state electrochemistry and heterogeneous electrocatalysis to develop proton-ceramic membranes, electrocatalysts and catalytically active electrodes for large scale devices. Further information can be found at https://go.fzj.de/Power-to-X and https://go.fzj.de/iNEW2

As part of a new branch of our institute, your efforts will be focused on optimizing methods to synthesize large active-area solid state proton conducting electrolytes of various architectures, developing a porous electrolyte support structure, and investigating novel sintering methods to improve densification and grain growth. Additionally, you will investigate the electrochemical properties of the complete MEA and characterize the total conductivity, hydrogen transport rates and electrocatalytic performance.

Your tasks in detail:

  • Consult literature and become knowledgeable in the current state-of-the-art
  • Preparation of solid state materials (eg: sol-gel, solid state and reactive sintering)
  • Microstructural and electrochemical performance characterization. Some available instruments include: SEM-EDAX, XRD, XPS, TGA, DIL/CTE, EIS, j-V, MS/GC
  • Development and investigation of electrodes and catalysts
  • Test matrix development, execution and data processing
  • Report activities and results via internal reports, manuscripts and presentations
Your Profile:

  • Excellent university degree (Master) in Material Science, Physics, Engineering or Chemistry and relevant experience
  • Knowledge of solid state electrochemistry or ceramics engineering
  • Experience with impedance spectroscopy and current-voltage techniques
  • Laboratory experience and computer skills
  • Enthusiastic, excellent cooperation, communication and team-work capabilities
  • Independent, self-motivated and responsible
  • Willingness to learn and ability to think outside of the box
  • Fluency in English is mandatory, and in German is desirable


Our Offer:

  • Mentored autonomy in theory and experimentation
  • Extensive company health management
  • Ideal conditions for balancing work and private life, as well as a family-friendly corporate policy
  • Further development of your personal strengths through an extensive range of training courses; a structured program of continuing education and networking opportunities specifically for doctoral researchers via JuDocS, the Jülich Center for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors: https://www.fz-juelich.de/judocs
  • Targeted services for international employees through our International Advisory Service

The position is initially for a fixed term of 3 years. Pay in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60 % of a monthly salary as special payment ("Christmas bonus"). Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at: www.fz-juelich.de/gp/Careers_Docs

Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.