Postdoc in New Fuel Cell Catalyst Materials From Model Electrodes

A PhD scholarship in sustainable energy is available at Chalmers University of Technology. The funding allows successful candidate to work for two years. Applications are invited up to February 09, 2020.

Information about the research/the project/the division

The main theme at Chemical Physics is the development of sustainable energy systems by using heterogeneous catalysis for alternative fuel production, emission control, energy storage, and fuel cells. The research is interdisciplinary with strong connections between fundamental and applied science. Chemical Physics is a dynamic and international environment that strives for scientific excellence through teamwork and joint experimental and theoretical efforts. The activity within heterogeneous catalysis is a part of the national Competence Centre for Catalysis at Chalmers.

The experimental activities at Chemical Physics focus on nanofabrication of well-defined materials, physical characterization using a range of microscopy and spectroscopy techniques such as SEM, TEM, AFM, XPS, XRD, EDX etc., and measurements of chemical reactions with high precision. Our goal is to bridge both length and time scales to understand reactions at an atomic level. Close collaboration with theoretical efforts within the group enables us to unravel fundamental reaction mechanisms and processes.

Low temperature fuel cells are promising candidates for energy conversion in a future sustainable energy system because of their high efficiency and potential for zero-emissions. In order to become a viable option on a large scale, there are several issues related to the catalyst materials that need to be improved. For the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) which is the dominating fuel cell type today, there is a need to reduce the amount of platinum (Pt) catalyst used on the cathode side. For the new and promising alkaline membrane fuel cell (AEMFC) there is a need to develop new and improved catalysts for both anode and cathode side.

This project will employ nanostructured model electrodes as a platform for developing and evaluating new catalyst materials for both PEMFC and AEMFC. Model electrodes will be prepared by physical deposition in vacuum, such as evaporation and sputtering. This model electrode approach is versatile in that virtually any material can be deposited while keeping the material structure constant. A main advantage with this approach is that the catalyst material can be measured and evaluated under real fuel cell conditions, something that is not possible with conventional techniques. The proposed project will develop and study the very promising group of Pt-rare earth metal alloys for use as oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts in PEMFC and Pt-free catalysts for the ORR and hydrogen oxidation reaction in AEMFC.

Major responsibilities

Your major responsibility as postdoc is to perform your own research in a research group, in this case fabricate interesting catalyst material candidates, perform physical characterization of fabricated materials, and evaluation of the materials as catalyst material in PEM or AEM fuel cells. The position also includes teaching on undergraduate and master’s levels as well as supervising master’s and/or PhD students to a certain extent. Another important aspect involves collaboration within academia and with society at large. The position is meritorious for future research duties within academia as well as industry/the public sector.

Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of two years (1+1).


(1) PhD in Physics, Chemistry or Materials Science

(2) PhD not older than two years

(3) Expertise in experimental fuel cell research and/or fabrication and characterization of thin film and/or nanoparticle materials

(4) Good communication skills in written and spoken English

(5) Able to work independently and take responsibility for progress and quality of the project

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref XXX and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref.

CV, include complete list of publications

Previous teaching and pedagogical experiences

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter:(Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)

- Introduce yourself

- Describe your previous research fields and main research results

- Describe your future goals and future research focus

Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.

Application deadline: February 9, 2020

Associate Professor Bjrn Wickman, Chemical Physics,



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