PhD on development of new disordered electrode materials for batteries

PhD on development of new disordered electrode materials for batteries

Published Deadline Location
6 Jul 1 Sep Delft
Development of disordered electrode materials for next-generation batteries

Job description

We will be investigating a new class of materials featuring atomic-scale disorder between mobile light metal ions (A e.g. Li+, Na+) and transition metals (M; e.g. Co, Fe). This is a new concept, in stark contrast to conventional electrode materials in which A and M are perfectly segregated in alternating atomic layers. The disordered materials have already shown great promise for increased performance (higher capacity, higher rate capability, slower aging) that could translate directly to lighter, faster-charging, longer-lasting next-generation batteries, respectively. Beyond performance, the disordered concept allows for more flexibility on the choice of transition metal(s) used which directly affects the economic potential and societal impact in view of battery mass-production. Current state-of-the-art lithium-ion technology heavily relies on cobalt and nickel. These are both rather rare, costly-to-produce (and in the case of cobalt, ethically unacceptable, see e.g. link) metals which go directly against the principles of sustainability, environmental protection and the green energy transition. Disordered structures can accommodate cheap, benign, abundant transition metals such as iron and manganese, paving the way for sustainable mass-deployment of electrochemical energy storage for electric vehicles (electromobility) and renewable energy sources (grid scale). For a deeper dive into the concept and problematics around disordered electrodes, interested candidates are invited to watch a recent webinar of Prof. G. Ceder on the topic (link below).

The candidate will be tasked with the rational synthesis of novel compositions of disordered electrode materials by such means as e.g. solid-state synthesis or mechanochemistry. The average and local structure and atomic-scale disorder will be characterized by advanced diffraction techniques, and the electrical and electrochemical properties via integration in electrochemical cells. The behavior of the materials in working battery cells will be probed directly, leveraging the expertise of the host groups for operando experiments, coupling electrochemical cycling with e.g. diffraction, x-ray spectroscopy and/or NMR spectroscopy. In this manner, the best materials will be selected for long-term cycling and applications in next-generation battery concepts, in particular solid-state batteries in conjunction with solid electrolytes. 

The position is partly funded by NWO (nwo.nl) and ALISTORE ERI (alistore.eu), a European consortium of research groups and industrial partners in the field of electrochemical energy storage. The candidate will be part of two labs (1) the Storage of Electrochemical Energy group @ TU Delft led by Prof. M. Wagemaker and (2) the Advanced Electrode Materials group @ CICe led by Dr. M. Cabanas. He/she will be based in Delft with frequent travels to Vitoria and other ALISTORE partners. The candidate will be supervised on a daily basis by Dr. T. Famprikis (Delft) and Dr. M. Reynaud (Vitoria).

See also:

-2020 webinar of Prof. G. Ceder on disordered rock-salt cathodes: https://youtu.be/kh-MCJd2S0g?t=2971

Specifications

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Requirements

Need-to-haves

-university degree in Materials Science, Chemistry, Physics or related field

-capacity to communicate effectively in english

-willingness to travel frequently within Europe

-collaborative, open-minded attitude

Nice-to-haves

-knowledge of solid-state chemistry

-experience in inorganic chemical synthesis (solid-state and/or mechanochemistry)

-experience in diffraction for atomic structure solution

-experience in electrochemistry of batteries

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the s://www.tudelft.nl/onderwijs/opleidingen/phd/admission">Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 year.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2443 per month in the first year to € 3122 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Employer

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 

Department

Faculty Applied Sciences

With more than 1,000 employees, including 135 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,400 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we train students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers and science communicators.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy or any informal questions, please contact Dr. T. Famprikis (t.famprikis@tudelft.nl).

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD02493

Employer

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Learn more about this employer

Location

Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before September 1st, 2022 via the application button and upload your motivation, CV and recommendation letter or contact info from two references (e.g. from MSc or internship advisor). 

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Applying for an exemption for specific research and educational areas is an obligatory part of the selection procedure for this vacancy. This exemption must be obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) before an employment contract is agreed upon. Click here for more information.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before September 1st, 2022 via the application button and upload your motivation, CV and recommendation letter or contact info from two references (e.g. from MSc or internship advisor). 

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Applying for an exemption for specific research and educational areas is an obligatory part of the selection procedure for this vacancy. This exemption must be obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) before an employment contract is agreed upon. Click here for more information.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

Make sure to apply no later than 1 Sep 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).