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Doktorandenstelle / Doctoral Research Position (m/w/d) in the field of chemistry
International Graduate School BACCARA
The International Research School of Battery Chemistry, Characterization,
Analysis, Recycling and Application (BACCARA) funded by the state of
North Rhine-Westphalia and established at the University of Münster,
Germany, by the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy and the MEET
Battery Research Center is seeking to fill
10 Doctoral Research Positions
Salary level TV-L E13 (67 %)
The part-time positions (67% of the regular working time, currently
equating to 26 hours 41 minutes per week) are funded for three years.
The goal is to obtain a doctoral degree and the anticipated starting date
is 1 October 2021.
The Research School "BACCARA" offers a modern, comprehensive and
interdisciplinary training program that enables its doctoral students
to successfully carry out their research work and foster their personal
development, thus preparing them for future successful careers in
industry, administration/politics, and academia.
Several scientists of the University of Münster have teamed up in order
to focus their complementary expertise on battery chemistry, characterization,
analysis, recycling and the applications for batteries along the
battery value chain. The interdisciplinary research activities are centred
on the topics: theory and modelling, material synthesis, catalysis,
analysis and characterization, battery cell, recycling, sustainability and
life cycle analysis.
We will provide a structured 3-year, cutting-edge PhD training program in
and beyond the fields mentioned above. PhD students are encouraged
to choose their own field of research in close cooperation with their
supervisor. In addition, courses in electrochemistry and a program
of workshops, lectures and conferences, partly be organized by the
students themselves, will be part of the training.
We are looking for highly motivated and talented PhD students from
different disciplines. Excellent command of spoken and written English,
general communication skills and team spirit are essential. We are
offering a competitive, interdisciplinary environment with a track
record of intense collaboration. In addition to the individual training-through-research, our program includes further opportunities such as
an introduction to electrochemistry and battery technology, retreats,
international conferences and symposia.
Fields of activity
Theory and Modelling
Theoretical work is conducted on very different length- and timescales:
ab initio methods for the description of reaction processes,
for the determination of electrochemical stabilities, and for the
optimization of force fields; molecular dynamics simulations for
improved understanding of structural and kinetic processes in
electrolytes in particular also close to interfaces; machine learning
concepts for an improved analysis of experimental and simulated
data. Of particular importance is a digitization concept for sensibly
structured data storage and future-oriented exchange of scientific
data with the aim of effcient further processing.
Within this research focus, new molecules and solid materials are to
be synthesized in a targeted manner in order to positively influence
key performance parameters such as internal resistance, temperature
windows, battery life and intrinsic cell safety. The development of
improved and sustainable synthesis pathways is also an important
element. Furthermore, surface chemistry and physical properties
play a decisive role in the establishment and optimization of new cell
chemistries and battery cell production e.g. increased adhesion
between the active material and current collector foil, or better
binding of binder molecules to the surface of the active material
particles. Another relevant focus is the development of strategies for
aqueous processing of nickel-rich active cathode materials.
In the field of lithium-ion batteries, catalysed reactions are of particular
interest. The time- and cost-intensive formation step after assembly
and during the fi rst charge is essentially based on a polymerization
reaction of electrolyte constituents and lasts from several hours to
days. Polymer-based Solid State Batteries (SSBs) represent a broad
field of research for catalysis research. Catalytic reactions for
improved and sustainable synthesis of polymer electrolytes are to be
researched and optimized within the framework of the research
school. In addition, the understanding of catalytic decomposition
processes can lead to an increase in the service life of materials and
products, and a reduction in risks.
Analysis and Characterization
Individual molecular and solid materials, but also the complex
system "battery cell", require a broad portfolio of methods and
proven experts for local and global material analysis in order to
characterize different interfaces and interphases and investigate
the micro- and nanostructures of pure substances and composites.
Reaction mechanisms and complex interactions in the overall context
of electrochemical systems have to be elucidated and, as a result,
targeted modifications have to be made so as to improve stability
and performance and continue to meet ever-increasing requirements.
In addition, analytical investigations provide valuable information
about details of dynamic processes, ion mobility and structureproperty-performance relationships. Finally, model materials, e.g.
pure materials, single crystals, or thin film electrodes allow mechanistic
investigations that are difficult to perform with complex materials
Battery Cell Technology
On the one hand, the battery cell serves as a technological demonstrator
for developed materials. All developments of the previously described
research disciplines converge in this research area. They are thoroughly
electrochemical with regard to their interaction with the "battery cell"
system and subjected to an in-depth post-mortem analysis (field of
activity: "analysis and characterization") in order to elucidate reaction
mechanisms and damage patterns. These findings are reflected
back to the respective focal points and the materials are iteratively
On the other hand, the field of activity of “battery cells” is an independent, highly interdisciplinary research subject. The battery cell
combines scientific and engineering challenges and represents an
interface technology where the complex interplay of mechanicalstructural,
chemical and morphological characteristics is investigated.
All developments in the fields of activity above converge in the "battery
cell" research area. The amount of electrochemical and analytical
data generated will be correspondingly large.
Recycling, Sustainability and Life Cycle Analysis
The successful and sustainable recycling of a battery cell begins with
the design of the materials and the manufacture of the components.
According to the so-called "Design for Recycling" practice, innovative
materials and processes are researched that enable the use of
materials and, in the best case scenario, individual components (e.g.
electrodes) with minimal performance losses.
A battery cell consists of valuable raw materials that must be fed
into the materials cycle and thus also back into the value-added
cycle. Life cycle analyses can also be used to develop processes
that enable the most energy-efficient separation and recovery of the
individual cell materials, either as components or as raw materials. In
addition, the findings are to be reflected in material synthesis and
the battery cell topic complex in order to pave the way for the development
of battery cells, constituent components and materials that
are as sustainable as possible.
Documented knowledge in one of the above-mentioned topics
Independent, structured approach to research work
High motivation, initiative and team spirit
Excellent command of English language
German language skills are not a requirement, but a willingness to
learn is desirable.
The University of Münster is an equal opportunity employer and is
committed to increasing the proportion of women academics. Consequently,
we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates
with equivalent qualifi cations and academic achievements will
be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities.
The University of Münster is committed to employing more staff with disabilities. Candidates with recognised severe disabilities who
have equivalent qualifi cations are given preference in hiring decisions.
Please send your complete CV, a cover letter outlining your motivation
for battery research (maximum 1 page) and your scientific interests
(maximum 1 additional page) detailing, which of the fields of activity
listed above would be of specific interest to you with the subject heading
“BAC-COH21-1” by email to the address below before 15 February 2021 to: