KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Postdoctoral position in Interfacial Electrochemistry

KTH CBH School Dept of Chemistry & Dept of Chemical Engineering

Stockholm, Sweden

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Job description

The two positions are initiating a joint venture by the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, both belonging to the School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health. The two departments have many research activities that are interdisciplinary across the borders to Materials science, Environmental science, Biochemistry, Biology and Medicine, and host international master programmes. The purpose of the joint positions is to strengthen the connection between basic and applied scientific activities and to align them towards better fundamental understanding of electrochemical energy devices. Those devices include batteries, fuel cells, and innovative solar cells that jointly form the backbone of a future sustainable energy system.

Irrespective of the device, the mode of operation is electro chemical transport of charges, either electrons or ions, across interfaces, often between liquids and solids. Under realistic circumstances, those interfaces are not simple or sharp but attain a unique and operation-dependent state. The involved liquids are typically aprotic solvents. At this stage, we specifically seek two postdoctoral researchers for two projects interconnected by overlapping research questions.

The first project concerns Aprotic Electrolytes: Coordination and Transport Properties. The solvents involved are relatively recent additions to the field of electro chemical energy devices and exemplified by molecules such as diglyme and tetraglyme (that is, either diethylene or tetraethylene glycol dimethylether). These solvents have potential advantages over conventional organic carbonate-type liquids but also exhibit highly nontrivial ion coordination and ion transport characteristics. The project is about correlating electrochemical behaviour with state-of-the-art spectroscopic investigations and thereby provides a molecular explanation to macroscopic transport features.

The second project concerns Molecular Ordering at Electrode Surfaces. Irrespective of the solvent and solute, a solution adjacent to a surface attains a state that is different for that in bulk liquid. The difference may be expressed in terms of different local concentration, different molecular orientation or different molecular coordination. Due to reasons of both sensitivity and selectivity, most experimental methods are typically insufficient to resolve such differences. Recently developed spectroscopic tools with unique surface selectivity, the foremost of which is vibrational sum-frequency spectroscopy (VSFS), can fill this gap. Hence, we will use VSFS to investigate electrochemically relevant liquid-solid interfaces both in equilibrium but also under operationally relevant dynamic conditions.

The postdoctoral fellows will be part of a larger collaborative team involving senior researchers, PhD students, and postdoctoral fellows. While being members of a collective effort, they will work independently on their respective projects.

What we offer
• International workplace.
• A leading technical university that creates knowledge and expertise for a sustainable future.
• Colleagues with high ambitions in an open, curious and dynamic environment.
• Help in relocation https://www.kth.se/en/om/work-at-kth/relocation



Applicants should have a PhD degree (or have that completed by the start of employment) in a subject relevant for the research, such as chemistry or chemical engineering (or an adjacent topic like physics,but with a PhD project connected to the project areas described above). The degree must have been completed no more than three years before the last application date (exceptions can be given on special grounds, for instance sick leave and parental leave).

We are looking for highly motivated candidates who can contribute with own ideas and who can work both independently and in a group. Emphasis will be placed on personal competence and suitability.

Preferred qualifications

In general, good laboratory/instrumental skills, good communication skills in English, an analytical mind and a solid academic track record as demonstrated by a very good publication performance are considered as important merits. For both positions, previous experience with electrochemistry is an additional important merit. In addition, for the position in Molecular Ordering, we preferably seek a candidate with proven experience in non-linear spectroscopy methods and surface chemistry. Experience with coordination chemistry and laser-based spectroscopies is a merit for the Aprotic Electrolytes position.

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at https://www.kth.se/en/om/work-at-kth/fackrepresentanter-1.500898.


The application must include:

• CV including education and relevant academic/work experience and publication list.
• PhD diploma supplemented with graduation transcripts from master studies. Translation to English if the original documents are written in a language other than Swedish or English.
• Personal letter containing a description of past experiences in the scientific field and a motivation why you are interested in this position, max 2 pages.
• Contact information for two references

Log into KTH’s recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad.Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

About the employment

This is a full-time position of one year with the possibility of extension for another year. The start date is open for discussion, but we would like to see the project start as soon as possible.

A position as a postdoctoral fellow is a time-limited qualified appointment focusing mainly on research,intended as a first career step after a dissertation.


Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH’s work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

For information about processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment April 1st 2020 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 2
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden

Reference number C-2020-0304


Eric Tyrode, Associate Professor; +46 8 7909915, tyrode@kth.se
Göran Lindbergh, Professor; +46 8 7908143, gnli@kth.se

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: C-2020-0304