A vacancy is available for a PhD student in the field of Terahertz Spectroscopy for (Photo-)Electrochemistry within the groups Plasma and Materials Processing (PMP) and Photonics and Semiconductor Nanophysics (PSN) at the Department of Applied Physics and Science Education, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), The Netherlands. Research groups
The Surface Photonics research group within the Photonics and Semiconductor Nanophysics capacity group focuses on the development of advanced THz spectroscopies based on pump-probe techniques and near-field detection. A major interest of the group is in the investigation of resonant structures for field enhancement and the local near-field characterization of these fields, together with high spatial resolution measurements for spectroscopy. The Plasma and Materials Processing (PMP) group focuses on advancing the science and technology of plasma and materials processing, a multidisciplinary research area that encompasses the research fields of plasma physics, surface science and material science. More information can be found at https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/photonics-and-semiconductor-nanophysics
, and https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/plasma-materials-processing
. Eurotech PhD position
The PhD position on Terahertz Spectroscopy for (Photo-)Electrochemistry is a Eurotech (https://eurotech-universities.eu/
) PhD position and is a collaboration with the Technische Universität München (TUM). This means that the PhD student will spend six months at this university to perform research.
Sun-light driven chemistry is key to the energy transition: it enables day-night and seasonal availability of electricity from intermittent renewable sources (like solar and wind) and delivers hydrogen and hydrocarbons, from simple feedstocks such as water, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. Light absorbers and (photo-)electrocatalysts drive these chemical reactions, but their design and engineering demand insights into key processes such charge generation, charge transfer, and surface reactions. Thus, an understanding of the charge carrier dynamics is critical in providing a solid foundation towards an educated and rational design of future solar energy conversion devices. So far, a variety of spectroscopic techniques have been applied to disclose charge carrier dynamics in semiconductors and their impact on energy conversion efficiency. However, the application of in situ and operando spectroscopic techniques to monitor carrier charge dynamics under normal working conditions is, so far, very limited. For this purpose, time-resolved THz time-domain spectroscopy (TRTDS) is selected as a non-contact probe of material conductivity with sub-picosecond resolution. The aim is to explore TRTDS as in situ and operando spectroscopy of (photo-)electrocatalysts. Current spectro-electrochemical methods do not include TRTDS due to the complexity of designing THz transparent (photo-)electrochemical cells and the possibility of strong absorption of THz radiation by the electrolyte. The applicants will apply TRTDS, as well as complementary optical spectroscopies to case studies of interest in (photo-)electrochemistry.
The aim of this EuroTech project is to develop TRTDS as a technique for the operando spectroscopy of charge carrier dynamics in photo-electrochemical processes. Therefore, the PhD candidate will integrate TRTDS in a (photo-)electrochemical (P)EC cell at TU/e and investigate the most promising (photo)electrocatalyst materials, which will be synthesized also at TU/e. In parallel, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) will host the PhD candidate for six months to strengthen the understanding of the (photo)electrocatalysts when interfacing with electrolytes in terms of kinetics of the surface reactions, as well as mapping the (photo-)electrochemical response at microscopic level.