PhD Position (f/m/d) Interphase development and characterization in lithium-based batteries
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Conducting research for a changing society: This is what drives us at Forschungszentrum Jülich. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, we aim to tackle the grand societal challenges of our time and conduct research into the possibilities of a digitized society, a climate-friendly energy system, and a resource-efficient economy. Work together with around 6,400 employees in one of Europe’s biggest research centres and help us to shape change!
The existing issues of climate change, pollution, and finite sources of fossil fuels demand integration of renewable energy sources. However, the assimilation of fluctuating renewable sources into sustainable electricity grid needs innovative energy storage solutions. The current state of lithium-based batteries (LBBs) as a promising energy storage system suffers from limited voltages and low capacities and does not meet the growing demands of the future energy storage market. In this regard, a transition from current-phase to next-generation LBBs with higher energy densities, lower cost, and longer cycle life is inevitable. At the Helmholtz-Institute Münster: Ionics in Energy Storage (IEK-12), Institute of Energy and Climate Research, we are concerned with the research of novel electrolyte compositions as the key component for future energy storage concepts. We are located at the branch in Münster of Forschungszentrum Jülich and we operate in close cooperation with the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU) and the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH).
We are offering a
PhD Position – Interphase development and characterization in lithium-based batteries
This prospective transition from conventional to next-generation LBBs includes not only the development and modification of electrode structures and electrolytes formulations, but also boundary of the electrode and electrolyte (so-called “interphase”). Ordinarily, at the operating electrochemical potentials of LBBs, conventional electrolytes are unstable against the anode and cathode, which leads to the formation of interphase with a specific chemical nature. Such resistive interphase, which is formed at the expense of electrolyte material loss, considerably limits the attainable energy and impairs the ionic conduction. This results in limiting the attainable performance, stability, and lifetime of LBBs. To rationally design the next-generation batteries with high energy density and high durability, a robust mechanistic understanding of the interphase’s formation, evolution, and degradation is of great importance. In this regard, the PhD thesis within the EFoBatt project is designed in two phases: (1) development of novel electrolyte formulations to improve the performance and stability of the interphases, (2) molecular level operando characterization of the formed interphases toward improved understanding of the future energy storage devices.
Your specific tasks in detail:
Operando vibrational spectroscopy (Raman and FTIR) investigation of lithium-based battery’s interphases: technique development and characterization
Design, development, and characterization of novel electrolyte compositions (conducting salts, solvents / co-solvents and functional additives) in lithium-based batteries
Electrochemical (potentiostatic / galvanostatic cycling, LSV and EIS) and analytical (GC-MS, NMR, UV-VIS) characterization of battery cell components
Analysis of the electrochemical and vibrational spectroscopy data
Writing papers and presenting the results in conferences
Excellent university degree (Master) in chemistry or materials science or a comparable field of study
Excellent knowledge of and proven interest in the field of electrochemistry
Background knowledge of vibrational spectroscopy techniques
Basic knowledge of organic chemistry
Strong interest in working in the interdisciplinary fields of energy storage and operando analysis
Ability to show initiative and work independently
Excellent cooperation, communication, and teamwork abilities
Excellent English proficiency in spoken and written language
We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:
A lively scientific environment within HI MS and possibilities for cooperation with our partners at RWTH Aachen, Forschungszentrum Jülich, and WWU Münster
Comprehensive training courses and individual opportunities for personal and professional further development
Excellent scientific and technical infrastructures
Extensive company health management
Ideal conditions for balancing work and private life, as well as a family-friendly corporate policy
Flexible working hours and 30 days of annual leave
International and interdisciplinary working environment
Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service
We offer an exciting and varied role in the new Investigator Group for Electrolyte Formulation, which is led by Dr. Masoud Baghernejad. The fixed-term position is limited to 3 years. Pay in line with 67% 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”).
Place of employment: Münster
Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations.
We also welcome applications from disabled persons.