PhD position in Electrochemical, compositional and crystallographic analysis of solid oxide cells inside a transmission electron microscope

Monday 16 Dec 19

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Apply no later than 31 January 2020
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Join our team to develop advanced in-situ electrochemical characterization tools for energy storage and be involved in high profile research at the forefront of science.


We have an available PhD position in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage (DTU Energy), Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Our research project will yield unique new knowledge by making it possible to directly observe the microstructural, compositional and crystallographic evolution of an operating solid oxide electrochemical cell with nanoscale resolution in a transmission electron microscope (TEM) while combining this with electrochemical characterization, using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS).


You will work with layered model solid oxide cells prepared by pulsed laser deposition (PLD). Part of the work involves thinning and mounting the model cells on a MEMS chip, which will be used for heating and biasing the cell inside the microscope. Commercial chips are available, but some of the work will  target the optimization of the MEMS chip for these particular electrochemical TEM experiments. The work with chip optimization will take place both in Denmark, in the clean room facilities at DTU, and in Canada, in collaboration with Norcada, a leading company in the fabrication of MEMS devices for scientific applications, and with the University of Toronto. Robust procedures for mounting and connecting such model cells will be developed. After establishing these procedures, the work will focus on conducting in situ electrochemical TEM experiments on model solid oxide cells in our environmental TEM (ETEM) microscope.


You will be part of the team for our 5-years ERC project “High-temperature Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Transmission electron microscopy on energy materials” (HEIST).


Candidates should hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent), preferably in chemistry, physics, nanoscience, or a materials science-related discipline. 

The following qualifications are required:
  • Strong competences within electrochemistry, preferably impedance spectroscopy and/or solid oxide electrochemistry/electrolysis
  • A good drive and high motivation
  • Good communication skills in English
  • Being able to work independently and in a team

Candidates with the following qualifications will be preferred:

  • Experience with electron microscopy such as TEM, and focused ion beam.
  • Experience with MEMS devices and clean room work
  • Experience in pulsed laser deposition

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate professor Søren Bredmose Simonsen (

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.


Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.


The expected starting date is flexible and will be discussed directly with the successful candidate. Workplace is DTU Energy, DTU, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
Further information

For further information please contact Associate Professor Søren Bredmose Simonsen (


Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.


Please submit your online application no later than 31 January 2020.


Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.


All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.


DTU Energy is focusing on functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technology. Our research areas include fuel cells, electrolysis, solar cells, magnetic refrigeration, superconductivity and thermoelectrics. Additional information about the department can be found on


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DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.