Postdoc for Operando X-ray Spectroscopy (at the Fritz-Haber-Institute Berlin)Forschungszentrum Jülich
At the Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Fundamental 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) to 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
You will investigate the degradation of solid oxide electrolysis cells under working conditions. High temperature solid oxide electrolysis cells are promising candidates for efficient chemical energy conversion. However, their lifetimes are limited by rapid deactivation. Understanding the electronic origin of their deactivation may lead to new design concepts for improved and prolonged performance. This position will offer the unique opportunity of combing different operando techniques for X-ray spectroscopy including ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy under reaction conditions and in the soft and tender X-ray range at the synchrotron radiation facility BESSY II. Experiments will be complemented by electron microscopy, including environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), with state-of-the-art aberration corrected high resolution TEM (Electron Microscopy Group). Furthermore, a close collaboration with the Theory department of the FHI and the RWTH Aachen has already been established. You will be working at the Fritz-Haber-Institute, Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Electronic Structure group in Berlin for the main part of your work.
Your tasks in detail:
You will perform operando X-ray spectroscopy (X-ray absorption and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in the soft and tender X-ray energy range) measurements on solid oxide electrolysis cells at the synchrotron radiation facility BESSY II in Berlin. The experiments will be performed at different beamlines at BESSY II, like ISISS, BELCHem and CAT@EMIL. The dedicated endstations base on the PHOIBUS 150 NAP XPS electron analyzer. Different potentiostats will be used to run the electrochemical reaction in homemade electrochemical cells.
· The data analysis of the performed experiments is an important part of the job.
· Since the experiments are rather complex you will be working in a team with postdocs and PhD students.
· You will collaborate with the project partners in Jülich in order to discuss the properties/dimensions of new solid oxide electrolysis cells to be synthesized by them.
· The collaboration with the theory and the electron microscopy group in Berlin will be coordinated by you.
· You will publish your results in international journals and present your work on conferences.
· Master’s and PhD degree in natural sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Material Science, Physical Chemistry), preferably with a specialization in heterogeneous catalysis or energy science
· Hands-on-experience in X-ray spectroscopy at synchrotron radiation facilities in the soft energy range and some experience in operando X-ray spectroscopy
· Pleasure and experience in manual tasks (e.g., assembly and construction of in situ cells)
· Proven ability to write publications
· Experience at performing and analyzing complex experiments with a high drive to solve scientific and practical/instrumental challenges independently
· Collaborative spirit, teamwork, and excellent English skills