PhD scholarship in Bipolar Polymer Electrolytes for Electrochemical CO2 Conversion

torsdag 19 nov 20

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Frist 9. december 2020
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The Section of Electrochemistry at DTU Energy carries out research on electrochemical energy conversion and storage technologies, such as fuel cells, electrolysis cells, flow batteries, and novel types of electrochemical cells for Power-to-X. Our research spans from synthesis, fabrication and characterization of electrochemical materials to advanced electrochemical testing. We work in close collaboration with colleagues in other sections and departments at DTU as well as with companies and research institutions in Denmark and around the world.

Renewably powered electrochemical conversion of CO2 provides a sustainable and carbon-neutral route to a large variety of fuels and chemicals. This is a cornerstone in the green transition, and supported by the Independent Research Fund Denmark we are therefore recruiting a PhD student to reinforce our research and development in this field.

Responsibilities and tasks
As a PhD student, you will join a team of materials scientists based at DTU Energy and work in close collaboration with colleagues at DTU Physics and Forschungszentrum Jülich. Your research will be devoted to an unconventional polymer electrolyte system, where one side is equipped with fixed cationic groups while the other side has fixed anionic functions. Such bipolar membranes are emerging as particularly promising for electrochemical CO2 conversion. Your task as a PhD student is to develop new methodologies to precisely control the depth, morphology and composition of the interfacial region. The overall aim is to describe how structural features relate to the function of the membrane under conditions relevant for CO2 conversion.

We expect you to contribute to reaching the ambitious goals of the project, by closely collaborating with your colleagues and by sharing materials, knowledge and ideas. More specifically, your responsibilities and tasks consist of:

  • Design and synthesis of cationic/anionic polymer chemistries
  • Fabrication of bipolar membranes
  • Structural, physicochemical and electrochemical characterization
  • Theoretical treatment of experimental data
  • Dissemination and communication

As a PhD student, you are also obliged to follow courses corresponding to 30 ECTS. A smaller part of your time will be allocated for various department duties, such as administrative task, teaching or student supervision.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree, preferably in experimental physical chemistry or materials/polymer chemistry. In addition to the formal education, you need to have a true passion for chemical handcrafting. Good communication skills in English, both written and orally, are essential as well as a willingness to engage in a multi-national team.

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.

The assessment of the candidates will be made by Senior Researcher David Aili (DTU Energy) and Associate Professor Brian Seger (DTU Physics).

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.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher David Aili (tel. +46 7046 46536) or Associate Professor Brian Seger (tel +45 5037 6413).

You can read more about DTU Energy at

Please submit your online application no later than 9 December 2020 (Danish time).

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.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

Technology for people
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 12,000 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.