In order to prevent our children inheriting a huge environmental problem in the future, we quickly have to realize the energy transition to renewable sources, which requires devices like electrolyzers, fuel cells, catalysts, and batteries, to name only a few. However, many of these devices suffer from its economic feasibility, due to low activity, low selectivity, or even deterioration.
Further improvements require a bottom-up approach with fundamental research at the atomic scale to gain full insights on the involved atomic processes at the electrode surface under operating conditions. To contribute to this cause, we have developed a unique Electrochemical Scanning Tunneling Microscope (ECSTM) that is capable of measuring in full operando conditions!
This allows observing the electrode, and its changes, on the atomic scale, while running e.g. a real electrochemical reaction, see the examples under https://www.youtube.com/@DrMRost
Project: Towards Cyclic Voltammograms with nm Resolution
One of the holy grails in electrochemistry is the identification of atomic active sites on the surface, which can be extracted on average from cyclic voltammograms. Until now the best lateral resolution has been achieved using a scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM). However, this resolution is still as large as ~50nm, which smears out all atomic details. The project aims on pushing this (technical) boundary to the extreme, by applying an ECSTM to extract local CV information.
The identification of single atomic active sites on the surface surely would have an enormous impact.
The ideal candidate has scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) experience as well as a physical surface science and electrochemistry background.
However, we explicitly invite also physicist with an openness and interest in electrochemistry as well as electrochemist with interest in fundamental surface physics to apply to this position.
Employed at LION (physics), you will greatly benefit from a beautiful collaboration between Prof. M.T.M. Koper (chemistry - LIC: electrocatalysis and electrochemical surface science), Prof. J.M. van Ruitenbeek (physics: atomic and molecular conductors, tunneling junctions, electronic noise), and Dr. M.J. Rost (physics: surface science, nanotechnology, and STM/AFM technology), three experts in their fields, which ensures exciting, new groundbreaking, and timely research.
The daily supervision will be performed by Dr. M.J. Rost.Key responsibilities:
- Design, Preparation, and Execution of Experiments
- Operation (and Maintenance) of the Electrochemical Scanning Tunneling Microscope
- Interpretation of the Results and Quantitative Data Analysis
- Correlation of the Results to Existing or Self-Developed Theory Implying Literature Research
- Preparation and Contribution to Publications in High-Quality Journals