PhD student: Complex Electrodes for Photoelectrochemical Solar Fuel Conversion

Literature claims that no single photoelectrode material is found so far which allows for stable and efficient photoelectrochemical solar fuel conversion. The focus therefore in this PhD project is on the research to develop alternative, complex photoelectrodes. “Complex” means the development of new complex oxide materials for photoelectrochemical (PEC) solar fuel conversion as well as the development of complex structures by e.g. plasma nanostructuring or microfabrication. Detailed characterization is required in order to relate chemical/structural properties of the thin film electrodes to the electrochemical properties and to develop high performing photoelectrodes.

Scientific Aim
Fabrication and characterization of well-defined, complex photoelectrodes; Relation of micro-/nanostructure and PEC properties leading to identification of critical structural/ chemical properties which determine the PEC properties.

Installing a set-up for the fabrication of complex oxide thin films by wet chemical processing; Fabrication of photoelectrodes by thin film deposition; Structuring of thin film electrodes by e.g. plasma nanostructuring and/or microfabrication; Structural and microstructural characterization of thin film photoelectrodes; Electrochemical characterization of thin film photoelectrodes including equivalent circuit fitting.

Applicants should have, or be pursuing, a Master degree (or an equivalent diploma giving access to doctoral studies) in Materials Science & Engineering, Chemistry/Chemical Engineering or Physics. Prior experimental experience in the areas of thin film processing and characterization (SEM, XRD, XPS, TEM), electrochemistry, and/or microfabrication would be advantageous.
Employment conditions
FOM offers a stimulating work environment in an area of applied, forefront research. When fulfilling a PhD position at FOM, you will get the status of junior scientist. You will have an employment contract for the duration of 4 years and can participate in all the employee benefits FOM offers. The gross monthly salary starts with € 2057, in the first year and increases to € 2636,- in the fourth year of your employment. The salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of year bonus of 8.33%. The position will be based at DIFFER - the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research ( Prior to the relocation of DIFFER from Nieuwegein to Eindhoven (March 2015) working location will be at TU Eindhoven. A high-quality training programme is part of the agreements. Additional plans for necessary education and supervision will be made on an individual basis if the position is offered. The research has to result in a thesis at the end of the employment period with FOM. The doctoral degree will be awarded by the Eindhoven University of Technology (

Employment conditions are laid down in the ‘CAO onderzoek instellingen’ and can be consulted at the FOM website ( under ‘Personnel’ or ‘Personeelsinfo’). General information on working at FOM can also be found at the FOM website. For further information please contact: A. Bieberle, Tel: (+31) 30 6096 801; e-mail: a [dot] bieberle [te] differ [dot] nl
To apply, submit a letter of application with full resume, a grade list, and possibly copies of papers to:
FOM Institute DIFFER
attn. Personnel Department
P.O. Box 1207
3430 BE Nieuwegein
The Netherlands
or by e-mail to: vacancies [te] differ [dot] nl Please quote 'Vac. No. 14-005' in your application letter.
Online screening may be part of the selection.

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vacature geplaatst op 28 Aug 2014 door Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research



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