Vacancy No. 11-2019

PhD position in the Cluster of Excellence POLiS: Reaction pathways and degradation mechanisms of electrode materials

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 studied. These materials promise to result in low costs, but the materials that are tested now do not have sufficient lifetime as required for an introduction into the market. Therefore, during the PhD work proposed here (which is part of the Cluster of Excellence POLiS) the processes that take place during battery operation will be investigated.

In addition to electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction, mechanical investigations of new electrode materials will be done during operation of the battery. Stresses in the electrodes are measured to draw conclusions about electrochemical and physical processes in the materials. Mechanical stresses are caused by changes in the electrode volume, for example when sodium ions are stored in the material during battery operation. In cooperation with our colleagues from materials synthesis and electrode manufacturing, materials and electrodes are optimized to achieve a longer service live. The aim of this work is to investigate reaction paths in greater detail and uncover irreversibilities in order to make electrode materials more reliable and thus usable.

Personal qualification

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 mechanical behaviour of materials is desirable. An addition to that, experience in microscopy techniques (scanning electron microscopy, light microscopy) and X-ray diffraction would be helpful as well.

Organizational unit

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

Starting date

as soon as possible

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. (


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number 11-2019.
Personnel support is provided by 

Ms Meinel
phone: +49 721 608-25029,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

If qualified, severely disabled persons will be preferred.