The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), invites applications for a PhD scholarship in characterisation of new electro-catalysts and development of new electrodes for SOEC anodes.
The research project is part of the project “Faster” recently funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The project involves collaboration with Max Planck Institute in Germany and University of Lund, Sweden.
Transforming our society to rely only on sustainable energy sources is a formidable engineering challenge. Key to success will be development of cost competitive and reliable routes to produce hydrogen via electrolysis of water/steam driven by green electricity. The hydrogen can be used as a fuel itself or serve as a reactant for production of fuels like methanol, kerosene or ammonia. Solid oxide electrolysis is one of several electrolysis technologies, which holds merits in terms of high efficiency and potential to reach low cost.
It is highly desirable to lower the operation temperature of the technology to allow longer operational life. To realize such a temperature reduction one needs improved electrodes for the oxygen evolution reaction occurring at the cell anode. This is the overall topic of the Ph.D. It is realized in the field that the chemical composition of the electrode materials in the outermost atomic layers may under use deviate from the overall composition. A hypothesis behind the project is that only by characterizing the actual surface composition during use one will be able to relate performance to material and surface properties.
In parallel with the experimental endeavors, which is the core of the announced Ph.D. project, the project involves a modelling effort to describe both the surface composition developing under use as well as the kinetics of the oxygen evolution reaction.
Responsibilities and qualifications
The successful candidate will work on characterising new materials for the oxygen evolution reaction as well as applying these in the form of full electrodes. The work will involve materials for application on proton conducting ceramics as well as on oxide ion conducting ceramics. The work will involve development and use of methods that may reveal the surface composition prevailing during operation (XPS, Raman,..), the purpose being, to be able to relate performance to composition.
Key tasks will be:
- Synthesis of candidate materials and characterisation of their fundamental charge transport and catalytic properties.
- Preparation of electrodes and electrochemical characterisation of performance.
- Planning and carrying out experiments on tailor made electrode/cell-geometries that enables assessment of surface composition during operation (via e.g. Raman or XPS).
You will collaborate with colleagues in the section for Solid State Electrochemistry doing materials synthesis and cell characterisation as well as with the colleagues from the section for Autonomous Materials Discovery, who will be in charge of the modelling efforts in the project.
As part of the PhD education, you will follow courses and assist in teaching activities
- You are expected to spend at least 3 months abroad at one of the partnering institutions listed above,
- You will disseminate your work in international peer reviewed journals and at professional conferences.
Candidates should have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree.
We favour candidates with a degree in chemical engineering, chemistry, materials science, physics or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a master’s degree in engineering. Experience with one or more of the following areas is considered an advantage;
- Heterogeneous catalysis and/or electrochemistry
- Experimental characterization of chemical reaction kinetics
- Materials synthesis and characterization
Moreover, the successful candidate
- is innovative and able to work in cross-disciplinary teams
- has good communication skills in English, both written and spoken
- is able to work independently and take responsibility for the progress and quality of projects.
Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU’s rules for the PhD education.
Your application will be assessed by Dr. Ivano Castelli and Dr. Peter Vang Hendriksen.
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.
Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.
You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
Further information may be obtained from Peter V. Hendriksen (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.
You can read more DTU Energy at www.energy.dtu.dk
If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.
Please submit your online application no later than Friday, 2September 2022 (Danish time).
Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:
- A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
- Curriculum vitae
- Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it.
Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.
The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage is focusing on functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technology. Our research areas include fuel cells, electrolysis, polymer solar cells, magnetic refrigeration, superconductivity, thermoelectrics, sustainable synthetic fuels, and batteries. The Department, which has more than 200 employees, was founded in 2012. Additional information about the department can be found on www.energy.dtu.dk
Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.