PhD position: Electrolyte materials using colligative properties

PhD position: Electrolyte materials using colligative properties

Published Deadline Location
15 Mar 11 Apr Geleen

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Job description

With today’s increasing reliance of people on electronic devices in many aspects of their lives, the need to preserve and consistently supply energy is ever increasing.1 For electrochemical storage devices one of the most urgent challenges is the quest for safe, sustainable, and suitable electrolytes to be used in e.g. batteries, supercapacitors and potential hybrids.2  Traditional liquid electrolytes provide the contact area and conductivity needed for good performance in commercial batteries, for example lead-acid and lithium-ion. However safety is a serious issue, as leaking of flammable organic substances creates explosion hazards and makes them unsuitable for small portable applications.3 .The development of batteries with higher energy densities, longer cycle lives and acceptable levels of safety at an affordable cost is critically needed.

For this reason, solid-state batteries have gained increasing attention as the absence of liquids eliminates leakage problems. The performance of current solid-state electrolytes is largely limited by the poor solid­-solid contact between the electrolyte and the electrode, resulting in a large interfacial resistance. This is primarily due to the fact that it is inherently challenging to design solid surface with a specific surface organization. A semi-solid, or quasi-solid, electrolyte, i.e. a liquid electrolyte immobilized in a solid matrix, may offer synergies bringing new options for electrochemical devices.4 Ionic liquids (ILs) and deep eutectic solvents (DESs) would be excellent candidates as liquid electrolytes, as well as in conducting polymers or gels 5 due to their nature of being liquid salts, or a eutectic mixture with a high salt concentration omitting the need of an additional solvent.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • you may already be in a PhD program but you cannot be a PhD holder,
  • you must have less than 4 years of research experience, i.e., you should be an early-stage researcher,
  • you should have a high-level knowledge of the English language.

Furthermore, the position-related requirements are:

  • Master’s degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or other applicable Master’s degree. Knowledge in polymer science and thermodynamics will be considered a plus.
  • enrollment as a doctoral student at UM within four months,
  • positive attitude to both analytical and practical research work, and
  • ability to work independently as a member of UM research team

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 (+3 years).

  • We offer a rewarding career at a young university in the heart of Europe, with a distinct global perspective and a strong focus on innovative research and education;
  • The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO), supplement with local UM provisions. For more information on terms of employment, please visit our website > Support > UM employees;
  • We offer a 4 year full-time appointment as PhD candidate. The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended for another 3 years.  Start date as soon as possible;
  • Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of €2.395,- with a yearly growth to €3.061,- gross a month, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours/week);
  • On top of this, there is an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end of the year allowance;
  • We offer an attractive package of fringe benefits such as, reduction on collective health insurance, substantial leave arrangements, optional model for designing a personalized benefits package, sport facilities which staff may use at a modest charge and application for attractive fiscal arrangements for employees from abroad;
  • We provide a stimulating, collaborative and interdisciplinary work environment with excellent opportunities for professional and personal development;
  • Maastricht University has an excellent international reputation, and Maastricht itself is a beautiful, open-minded city located in the center of Western Europe.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 20,000 students and 4,700 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. 

Faculty of Science and Engineering

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is home to several outstanding departments in education and research. Students and scientists contribute to education programmes at the bachelor's, master's and PhD levels and take part in innovative research in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Brightlands Chemelot Campus

Brightlands Chemelot Campus boosts innovation and business growth by giving tenants access to talent, knowledge, infrastructure and entrepreneurship. This enables this vibrant community to create performance materials, sustainable processes and biomedical solutions for a more sustainable world. Brightlands Chemelot Campus is the ideal breeding ground for materials science and innovation.


  • PhD scholarship
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2021.83


Maastricht University (UM)

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Urmonderbaan 22, 6167 RD, Geleen

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