Vacancy No. 05-2021

Development of novel and continuous preparation techniques for heterogeneous model catalysts in emission control

Job description

This PhD thesis addresses the development of preparation techniques for defined noble metal catalysts suitable for application scale catalyst testing in monolithic catalyst bodies. In your PhD thesis, you will use in particular defined metal clusters or nanoparticles as precursors for catalyst preparation, which you will subsequently deposit homogeneously distributed on a support material (e.g. Al2O3, TiO2, CeO2). For this purpose, you will implement the synthesis of the clusters and nanoparticles and their deposition on the support material in a continuous process. You will further address the preparation of catalysts with defined noble metal particle size by exploiting strong electrostatic interactions of metal complexes with the support material. You will determine the structural characteristics of the clusters/nanoparticles and catalysts using modern analytical methods such as X-ray diffraction, dynamic light scattering, UV-vis spectroscopy and electron microscopy, etc.

Your PhD thesis will be carried out at the Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology in the group of Prof. Dr. Silke Behrens. The PhD thesis is embedded in the Collaborative Research Center CRC 1441 "TrackAct" ("Tracking the Active Site in Heterogeneous Catalysis",, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). In this CRC1441, more than 40 scientists are working together using different experimental and theoretical approaches to understand the behavior and special properties of noble metal catalysts in emission control - from the atomic scale to the application in combustion engines.

Your responsibilities:

- Development of a continuous process for the synthesis of defined catalysts based on noble metal cluster / nanoparticle precursors

- New preparation techniques: Control of noble metal particle size in catalysts exploiting strong, electrostatic interactions of metal complexes with support materials

- In-depth structural characterization of the clusters/nanoparticles and powder catalysts

- Evaluation of data, preparation of reports and publications

- Supervision of students.

Personal qualification

You should have a very good Master's degree (Diploma (Uni) / Master) in chemistry or materials science with particular knowledge in materials synthesis as well as knowledge in catalysis and technical chemistry. A high degree of motivation, the willingness to work independently and the ability to work in a team as well as excellent knowledge of the English and preferably also the German language are also expected.

Organizational unit

Institute of Catalysis Research und Technology (IKFT)

Starting date


Contract duration

limited to 3 years

Application up to


Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Behrens, phone 0721 608-26512 (


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number 05-2021.
Personnel support is provided by 

Mr Gehringer
phone: +49 721 608-25004,

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

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.