PhD Projects in complex nanoparticles as new catalysts for electrocatalytic reactions

Copenhagen University
April 02, 2024
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2 PhD fellowships in experimental electrocatalysis

Department of Chemistry Faculty of SCIENCE

University of Copenhagen

Department of Chemistry invites applicants for two PhD fellowships in experimental electrocatalysis of nanoparticles.

Start date is August-September 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project

The project aims to study complex nanoparticles in electrocatalytic energy conversion reactions. Electrocatalysis is a key technology in the green transition and advanced materials development is required for rational design of new catalysts. Newly designed electrocatalysts can help to optimize a series of energy conversion reactions that take place in fuel cells, such as the oxygen reduction reaction, hydrogen evolution reaction, or formic acid oxidation.

For efficient reactions, high surface area catalysts are necessary, and the project will explore nanoparticles as new catalyst materials for electrocatalytic conversions. The research will be on the activity and stability of complex nanoparticles in electrochemical environments and the structural changes that occur during catalysis. This will be studied by classical electrochemical approaches as well as by combining electrochemistry with advanced characterization techniques, such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction in operando synchrotron experiments. The projects will be highly interdisciplinary and in close collaboration with theory and characterization groups at the Department of Chemistry. The focus of the two positions are:

1 Ph.D. project on the interplay of oxidations state and atomic structure of nano-sized perovskite oxides in water oxidation catalysis

1 Ph.D. project on the dynamic evolution of active sites in high entropy alloy nanoparticles during electrocatalysis.

Please indicate in your application which project you prefer. All candidates will be considered for both positions.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for candidates within the field(s) of chemistry, nanoscience, physics, or similar. Applicants can have a background in either electrochemistry or materials characterization. Experience in the characterization of nanoparticles with synchrotron characterization techniques such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy is considered an asset.

Our group and research- and what do we offer?

The Center for High Entropy Alloy Catalysis (CHEAC) is a large multi- disciplinary, collaborative research center that combines catalyst materials development in both experiments and simulations. The electrocatalysis group is a new research group in CHEAC led by Rebecca Pittkowski. We are a young, motivated group with experience in nanoparticle electrocatalysis and synchrotron characterization. The group is a part of the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. We are located in Copenhagen.

We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and equipment for electrocatalytic testing as well as materials characterization. Facilities at CHEAC and UCPH include X-ray scattering (XRD, SAXS, total scattering) and spectroscopic techniques, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES) and computational methods.

Principal supervisor is Center leader and Professor Jan Rossmeisl, Department of Chemistry. Daily supervision will be by co-supervisor and tenure-track assistant professor Rebecca Pittkowski. Inquiries to the current positions can be made to Rebecca Pittkowski, [email protected].

The PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the regular programme (5+3) To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master's degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. in chemistry, nanoscience, physics or a similar field. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks in the PhD programme

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision

  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE

  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project
  • We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other relevant professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in electrochemistry and structure characterization
  • Good language skills
  • Application and Assessment Procedure

    Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

    Please include :

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • Your motivation to apply for the PhD project in high entropy alloy electrocatalysis
  • Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Reference letters (if available)
  • Application deadline:

    The deadline for applications is 02 April 2024, 23:59 GMT +2 .

    We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

    The further process After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

    The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at https: //

    Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in weeks 19-20.

    Questions For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

    General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School's website: https: // www.

    The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

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