Investigation Of Sputtered Thin-Layer Oxygen Evolution Electrocatalysts In Alkaline Media And The Effect Of Structural And Electronic Properties On The Catalytical Performance

Universities and Institutes of Czech
December 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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3 Oct 2023

Job Information


Charles University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics


Department of Surface and Plasma Science

Research Field

Physics » Applied physics

Chemistry » Heterogeneous catalysis

Physics » Surface physics

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)


Czech Republic

Application Deadline

20 Dec 2023 - 23:59 (Europe/Prague)

Type of Contract


Job Status


Hours Per Week


Offer Starting Date

1 Feb 2024

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Funded PhD position at Charles University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Department of Surface and Plasma Science, Nanomaterials Group

Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Institution: Charles University

Group: https: //

Scholarship: 1100 EUR/month scholarship

Duration: 4 years (48 months)

Supervisor: Dr. Peter Kúš


A water electrolyzer (WE) is an electrochemical cell that converts electrical energy to chemical energy by means of the endergonic reaction 2H2O + electrical energy -> O2 + 2H2. The conversion of electricity to another form of energy and its consequent storage is a very important topic in the context of the utilization of renewable but intermittent energy sources (e.g., sun and wind).

Anode Exchange Membrane Water Electrolyzers present a crucial step in building the Hydrogen economy, as they combine the advantages of Alkaline electrolyzers (non-noble catalysts) and Proton Exchange Membrane Water Electrolyzers (high efficiencies, variability, compact design). Finding a sufficiently active, stable, and non-noble catalyst for the anode and cathode side of the AEM-WE is one of the leading research goals in the field.

The Ni-Fe/Ni-Co alloys etc. have shown remarkable performance for the anodic oxygen evolution reaction, even in pure water – many catalysts work only in the KOH electrolyte. However, the exact understanding of the Ni, Co, and Fe- based catalysts is still missing.

The objective of this dissertation thesis is to build on the prospective results of the Nanomaterials Group, predominantly in the area of novel catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction. Magnetron sputtered thin-film catalysts, typically with a structure of Ni,Co,Fe/porous sublayer will be studied with emphasis on the stability and activity dependence on morphology and defect density. Layers of various compositions and morphologies will be prepared with the goal of identifying the ideal structural parameters in terms of both durability and activity. Wide arsenal of analytical methods will be available, ranging from electrochemical testing through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to electron microscopy. A great focus will be laid on the operando variants of those methods.


1) Bibliographic research.

2) Getting acquainted with the experimental methods.

3) Preparation of a series of thin-film catalysts for AEM-WE.

4) Characterization of prepared samples and study of their properties.

5) Evaluation of the results and publishing research papers.

6) Writing the dissertation.


1 Li W, Tian H, Ma L, Wang Y, Liu X, Gao X. Low-temperature water electrolysis: fundamentals, progress, and new strategies. Mater Adv 2022;3:5598–644. https: //

2 Xiao L, Zhang S, Pan J, Yang C, He M, Zhuang L, et al. First implementation of alkaline polymer electrolyte water electrolysis working only with pure water. Energy Environ Sci 2012;5:7869–71. https: //

3 Saveleva, V. A. et al. Uncovering the Stabilization Mechanism in Bimetallic Ruthenium-Iridium Anodes for Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 7 , 3240–3245 (2016).

4 W. Li, H. Tian, L. Ma, Y. Wang, X. Liu, X. Gao, Low-temperature water electrolysis: fundamentals, progress, and new strategies, Mater Adv. 3 (2022) 5598–5644. https: //


Research Field

Physics » Applied physics

Education Level

Master Degree or equivalent

Research Field

Chemistry » Heterogeneous catalysis

Education Level

Master Degree or equivalent


We are looking for a motivated, independent, English speaking candidate who holds a master degree in physics or chemistry.

Specific Requirements

Candidate should preferably have a background in experimental physics or chemistry and interest in electrochemistry.





Research Field

Physics » Applied physicsChemistry » Heterogeneous catalysis

Years of Research Experience

1 - 4
Additional Information


1100 EUR/month scholarship (48 months)

Eligibility criteria

Candidate has to be eligible to get a study permit in European Union.

Selection process

Based on the provided CVs and Cover Letters the perspective candidates will be invited for the video call interview.

Website for additional job details

https: // sputtered-…

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available



Charles University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics


Czech Republic



Postal Code



V Holesovickach 2
Where to apply


[email protected]





https: //

https: // www.


Ke Karlovu 3

Postal Code



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