PhD project: Real-time insight into heterogeneous catalysts for non-fossil energy supply via in-situ X-ray scattering (Fuel Science Center)RWTH Aachen • Institut für Kristallographie • Aachen

Germany Universities


December 1, 2021


Open Positions 1

Time Span 01 Jan 2022 for 3 years Application Deadline 01 Dec 2021 Financing yes Type of Position

  • PhD - Individual Supervisor
  • Field of Research

  • Mathematics / Natural Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Subjects chemistry, chemical engineering, crystallography, material science Description The Institute of Crystallography at RWTH Aachen University is placed in the interdisciplinary field of chemistry, physics, geo- and material sciences. Our research aims at a better understanding of the structure and dynamics of nanoscale solid-liquid and solid-gas interfaces, because of their importance in catalysts, energy materials, geosciences and nanomaterials. To achieve these goals, we employ modern X-ray and neutron scattering techniques, both in the laboratory and at large scale research facilities.

    Project description: In the cluster of excellence “The Fuel Science Center”, the entire lifecycle of renewable fuels is investigated: from the fuel generation by molecular reaction processes, via model rectors and highly efficient propulsion systems to the design of entire fuel process and value chains. Heterogeneous catalysts, often nanoparticles on a support, are frequently employed for both the synthesis and combustion of bio-hybrid fuels. During catalysis morphological as well as atomic structural changes of the catalyst particles occur. In order to follow the intricate structural details during catalyst activation and cycling in real-time, we perform in-situ high energy X-ray scattering experiments at synchrotron radiation facilities. Such experiments will allow us to derive structure-activity correlations, for instance for Nickel-based perovskite-derived catalysts in the catalytic conversion of CO2 in collaboration with the Palkovits group, or insight into perovskites in exhaust gas treatment with the Simon group (both RWTH Aachen University).

    Applications must be submitted as 1 PDF file electronically in German or English and must include: letter motivating the application and background for this position, CV, Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc), possibly up to 2 contact information of references.

    Your tasks: - Adaptation and extension of an existing flow cell setup for in-situ experiments, e.g. for various gas feeds, water / organic vapor inlets - Preparation of samples for beamtimes including physicochemical characterization, e.g. TEM, MS - X-ray diffraction experiments at laboratory diffractometers and synchrotron radiation facilities (national and international) - Analysis of XRD and PDF (pair distribution function) data for structure refinement and modelling of hetero-geneous catalysts - Publication of results in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presentation at conferences.

    Your Profile: - University degree (M.Sc. or equivalent) in chemistry, physics, materials science, geoscience or related field. - Experience in at least two of the following: heterogeneous catalysts, mass spectrometry, X-ray scattering, data analysis / scientific programming (Origin Pro, Igor Pro, Python). - High motivation for further training, independent and goal-oriented way of working. - Good communication skills in English and possibly German. - You are also interested in further academic qualifications (doctorate).

    Working Language

  • English
  • German
  • Language of Dissertation

  • English
  • German
  • Required Documents

  • CV
  • Reports, certificates
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of Motivation
  • More Information https: // www. ifk.rwth-

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