Mitigating the catastrophic effects of climate change has urged the decarbonization of our energy economy. One promising approach is to leverage the most abundant greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, and convert it into products with societal value, thereby reducing the amount of CO2 emitted and enabling sustainable manufacturing. Electrochemical reduction of CO2 is an exciting route as it can enable low temperature conversions towards desired products; however, it remains to be realized at sufficiently high current densities and selectivities. One outstanding challenge is to design and fabricate advanced gas diffusion electrodes that can facilitate complex mass transport and kinetics over thousands of hours of stable operation.
In these projects, you will synthesize novel gas diffusion electrodes with controlled three-dimensional structures and surface properties. Instead of leveraging commercial, carbon fiber-based, gas diffusion layer based substrates, you will manufacture your own scaffolds using scalable methodologies that afford high control over the pore size, geometry, and porosity. Furthermore, you will apply polymer coatings to control the surface properties such as wettability and electrochemical activity. The prepared materials will be thoroughly characterized with a suite of methods including microscopic, spectroscopic, and electrochemical including flow cells reactors available in our laboratories. If successful, you will develop a new generation of gas diffusion electrodes with far-reaching applications in electrochemical systems and beyond.
When applying, please indicate your preferred position:
- Position 1: Focused on synthesis and control over the three-dimensional structure of the porous structure.
- Position 2: Focused on surface functionalization and precise control of wettability of electrode interfaces.
Note: interest in both positions is also possible.
Membrane Materials and Processes at Eindhoven University of Technology
The chair Membrane Materials and Processes (www.tue.nl/mmp) at the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology (www.tue.nl) focuses on the design and development of polymer membranes and porous electrodes to control mass transport in sustainable processes. The chair combines and integrates materials chemistry, electrochemical engineering, and process technology. Application areas are water and energy, with a strong focus on the recovery and reuse of resources, the valorization of waste streams and energy efficiency. ‘Closing cycles’ and ‘value from waste’ are leading themes in the research program. Next to fundamental academic research, application-oriented research in close collaboration with the industry is stimulated.
Electrochemical porous materials and interfaces
The research on electrochemical porous materials and interfaces is led by Dr. Forner-Cuenca. We aspire to facilitate the deployment of transformative energy technologies in the real world. To do so, we employ fundamental principles at the convergence of materials science, electrochemical engineering, and surface science to synthesize, characterize, simulate, and implement novel materials into next-generation electrochemical devices (e.g. redox flow batteries, fuel cells, electrolyzers). We are especially interested in understanding complex transport through porous media, synthesizing functional polymer coatings, and developing advances operando techniques.
The TU/e offers academic education that is driven by fundamental and applied research. We combine scientific curiosity with a hands-on mentality. Our educational philosophy is based on personal attention and room for individual ambitions and talents. Our research meets the highest international standards of quality. We push the limits of science, which puts us at the forefront of rapidly emerging areas of research.
- A master’s degree (or an equivalent university degree) in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science, Applied Physics, or related disciplines.
- Prior experience dealing with porous electrodes, surface science, electrochemistry or electrochemical engineering would be appreciated but not mandatory.
- We are looking for a talented, motivated and enthusiastic researcher. Analytical skills, initiative and creativity are valuable properties.
- You are a naturally curious person who is eager to learn more and has a strong interest in research.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are a prerequisite.
- We prefer candidates with a good team spirit, who like to work in an internationally oriented, social environment.
An interview, a scientific presentation and a writing assignment are part of the selection procedure.
Conditions of employment
- A meaningful job in a highly motivated team at a dynamic and ambitious University. The TU/e is located in one of the smartest regions of the world and part of the European technology hotspot ‘Brainport Eindhoven’; well-known because of many high-tech industries and start-ups. A place to be for talented scientists!
- A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
- To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
- To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
- A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
- Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
- Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility’, which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
- A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
- Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.