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Operando characterization becomes ever more important for the rational design of energy materials. For electrocatalysts, e.g. for green hydrogen production, the surface properties define the catalytic properties and require more in-depth understanding. But most chemically-sensitive operando characterization tools lack surface sensitivity. In this project, funded via an ERC Grant of the European Commission, you will work on the development of photoelectron spectroscopy towards surface-sensitive operando characterization of the solid liquid interface.
The project relies on a new "operando photoemission" platform at the University of Twente, which combines advanced liquid-cell options and multi-color X-ray sources. The "operando photoemission" platform is created with the ambition to establish the first-of-its-kind laboratory-based XPS platform for operando characterization of the solid-liquid interface with maximum interface-sensitivity, and is made possible through a national infrastructure grant.
The key research idea relies on single-crystal-like, atomically defined surfaces achieved in the form of thin films or 2D materials. In collaboration with materials synthesis and spectroscopy experts from the Inorganic Materials Science group, you will make use of these materials to further develop the concepts of "meniscus XPS" and/or "membrane XPS". In the end, this will help clarify the central research question: How do the composition and electronic structure of the outermost atomic layer in state-of-the-art electrocatalysts impact the catalytic activity and how can we optimize materials design for maximum efficiency.
University of Twente (UT)
- PhD in Physics, Chemistry or Materials Science or a related field.
- You are an expert XPS user.
- Experience with APXPS and/or HAXPES, pulsed laser deposition, thin film analysis or electrochemical characterization are a big plus.
- You are a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and self-driven researcher.
- You are a problem solver with excellent analytical and communication skills.
- You have a track record of experimental research in the given discipline, with scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals.
- You are fluent in English.
Conditions of employment
- Full time postdoc position for up to three years, starting spring-summer 2023
- Access to a new lab-based, multicolor APXPS system with innovative liquid cell
- Dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific and entrepreneurial environment on a green and lively campus with lots of sports facilities.
- Gross salary between € 3.557 - € 4.670,- per month depending on experience and qualifications according to the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO)
- Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus of 8.3% and a solid pension scheme.
- Minimum of 29 leave days in case of full-time employment.
- Excellent facilities for professional and personal development
IMS is a research group devoted to thin film growth studies, (nano)structuring techniques, and properties of complex materials, in particular oxides. It includes materials with diverse properties, like ferroelectrics, ferromagnetics and multiferroics, piezo's, high-K dielectrics, transparent conducting oxides, non-linear optical materials, ion conductors, superconducting and related materials, and anti-reflection coatings. Its research field is focussed on thin films with modified properties by doping or by artificial layered structures and superstructures. Applications are found in, e.g., nano-electronics and spintronics, optical systems, fuel and solar cells, fluidics, bio-nano sensors.