PhD position in the Cluster of Excellence POLiS:High resolution microscopy of phase boundaries of battery materials

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Karlsruhe, Germany

Work group:

Institute for Applied Materials – Materials and Biomechanics (IAM-WBM)

Area of research:

PHD Thesis

Job description:

Electrochemical energy storage is part of our everyday life. It will be even more important in the future to make a more efficient use of renewable energies, e.g. by enabling a broad application of electromobility. The lithium-based batteries that have been used up to now will soon reach their limits, e.g. with respect to sustainability and the supply of raw materials. Therefore, alternative systems that use metals like sodium, magnesium or calcium (possibly as a carbon compound) at the anode are investigated. During the discharge of the battery, these metals dissolve as ion in the electrolyte; during charge, they have to be electroplated. These processes depend strongly on the interface between the metal (or its carbon compound) and the electrolyte. There, a solid interphase is formed usually. The properties of the battery, e.g. the internal resistance, depend strongly on this interphase. During the PhD work proposed here (which is part of the Cluster of Excellence POLiS) interphases and interfaces are studied by microscopy. In addition to light microscopy, mainly scanning electron microscopy SEM will be used. In addition, helium ion microscopy HIM (which offers the option to obtain sub-nanometer resolution) will be applied. Collaborating with other groups which supply optimized electrolytes or investigate the chemical composition of the surfaces, it is the goal of the project to investigate and to image the surfaces and interphases that form during varying electrochemical experiments. Finally, this should contribute to optimize the batteries proposed.

You hold a very good Master's degree in natural or engineering science, e.g. physics, chemistry, or materials science. Knowledge and experience about electrochemistry and/or microscopy techniques is desirable. An addition to that, experience in inert gas/glove box techniques, image analysis or determination of roughness would be helpful as well.

Contract duration

limited to 3 years

Application up to

May 31, 2019

Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Dr. Mönig, phone 0721 608-22487 ( .


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PhD position in the Cluster of Excellence POLiS:High resolution microscopy of phase boundaries of battery materials