Meeting the world’s energy requirements by adopting renewable sources such as wind and solar energy, demands also viable solutions in terms of electricity storage. A valid approach is water electrolysis, yielding hydrogen and oxygen, which can then convert back to electricity on-demand or serve as building blocks to produce synthetic fuels. However, the energy efficiency of the water electrolysis process currently employed in the industry is limited by the sluggish kinetics and high overpotential of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). State-of-the art catalysts for the OER with much higher activities and lower overpotentials than those used in industry are available, but they consist of noble metal oxides. Although these catalysts lead to high energy efficiencies, the resources they are made of, are scarce, and as such, they are not suitable for large-scale deployment. Alternative catalysts are needed, based only on earth-abundant elements, while still providing excellent energy efficiencies.
Are you up to the challenge and become our next PhD student, eager to design, synthesize and test novel and cost-effective OER electrocatalysts?
The Plasma and Materials Processing (PMP) group at the Applied Physics department of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and the Catalytic and Electrochemical Processes for Energy Applications (CEPEA) group at the Solar Fuels theme of Dutch Institute For Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) are looking for you to address the above-mentioned challenge.
The novel electrocatalysts will be engineered by atomic layer deposition (ALD) at TU/e and then characterized by state-of-the art thin film diagnostics. In parallel, they will be tested at DIFFER, where their performance towards H2O splitting will be evaluated as function of the electro-catalyst chemical and structural properties. You will work closely with other researchers in the PMP group at TU/e and CEPEA group at DIFFER under the supervision of prof. dr. M. Creatore (PMP, TU/e) and dr. M. Tsampas (CEPEA, DIFFER). Very recently, we have synthesized cobalt phosphate (CoPi) by ALD and showed that ALD offers the opportunity to tune the chemical composition of the electrocatalyst in terms of Co-to-P ratio. Within this PhD project, you will be exploiting further this unique capability of ALD and studying the relationship between the chemical and morphological properties of pristine CoPi, of CoPi during activation upon repeatedly cycling the applied potential and its OER activity. Moreover, you will explore ALD for the synthesis of other Co-based OER electrocatalysts.
Next to the supervision of BSc and MSc students in their research projects, other assistance in education, e.g. in bachelor courses, is usually included, approximately counting for 5% of your contract time.
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
Prof.dr. M. (Adriana) Creatore, m.creatore[at]tue.nl
For information concerning employment conditions click here.
Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e!
We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'solliciteer nu'-button on this page.
The application should include a:
We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it.
Screening will continue until the position has been filled.
Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.