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/@DrMRostProject: Structural Evolution of Electrocatalytic Surfaces in Action
It is obvious from the electrochemical literature that certain surfaces undergo significant changes, while running a reaction or applying certain electrochemical conditions. This clearly hinders from a full understanding. To shed a light into this darkness, this project aims on the direct observation of the surface under reaction conditions to observe, identify, and quantify the underlying atomic processes that lead to structural changes, and to correlate them to the applied electrochemical reaction.
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