martes, 5 de junio de 2012

[OFER-TRABEC] NAC: PhD Fellowship: Positive electrode materials

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Institución:CIC Energigune
PhD Fellowship: Positive electrode materials for aqueous Na-ion batteries

Supervisors: Dr. Montse Casas Cabanas and Dr. Miguel Angel Muñoz


Identify potential positive electrode materials that are able to deintercalate/intercalate Na+ in aqueous electrolyte.

Elucidate the reaction mechanism of Na+ deintercalation/intercalation. Identify possible intermediate species, structural and microstructural changes and degradation mechanisms.

Correlate structural, microstructural and electrochemical properties so as to identify the major parameters affecting the performace of the electrode material.


The electrochemical deintercalation/intercalation of Na in aqueous media has been studied in very few materials. The first part of the thesis would be dedicated to the study of a model compound and to the identification of other potential candidates according to the following criteria: theoretical capacity, availability, cost, synthetic process and crystal structure.

Once other materials have been identified and prepared, their stability in air and in aqueous electrolyte (previous to cyclying) as a function of pH will be studied by TEM, XRD and XPS. Once their stability is confirmed, our work will be directed towards the elucidation of reaction mechanisms and the highlight of structure, microstructure and electrochemistry correlations so as to identify the principal parameters affecting the performace of the electrode material. Special emphasis will be put on the use of combined electrochemical and structural techniques that probe the surface or the bulk of the electrode material in situ and under operating conditions so as to observe the dynamic composition and structure during charge transport and transfer processes.

Interest of the project:

The inconvenients of using non-aqueous electrolytes are diverse. From one side, nonaqueous electrolytes have ionic conductivities two orders of magnitude lower than aqueous ones, so cells incorporating thin electrodes must be used. From another side, water must be rigorously excluded during manufacturing, resulting in high production costs. The use of aqueous electrolytes in Na-ion systems should have a big impact in cost reduction, greater safety, high rate operation, better reversibility and extended cycle life. Moreover, the topic of this project is an excellent opportunity for a Ph.D. student to complete its formation in the fields of solid state chemistry and electrochemistry, as well as to get new and useful knowledge on diverse characterisation techniques that can be useful in a wide range of research areas. The PhD student will have access to advanced characterization techniques such as the XPS, XRD, NMR or TEM.

What we offer

Eligible candidates must be registered master students at the UPV/EHU or at other European Universities and being eligible for pre-doctoral fellowship programs.

The contract will commence between September and November 2012. By then, the student should hold the Master degree to have access to the PhD program of a University.

Interested candidates please e-mail the supervisor with its reference in the subject including the following information:

A cover letter

Your CV including the BA/BSc qualification on a scale of 1-4

Names (including e-mail address) of at least two referees

(*) for non-european candidates, the position will be available only once researchers obtain all the immigration permits.

What we need

1.- Conditions

- Eligible students: candidates must hold a Master degree before the PhD fellowship begins
- National and international candidates are elegible.
- English and skill communications would be particularly valuable.
- Candidates should be highly motivated to pursue a scientific career
- Length: 3 years
- Economical offer: 18.500 € gross per year (aprox. 15.000 net)
- Funding:
* 5 best researchers evaluated: CIC Energigune will assume the investment based on its internal funds. Nevertheless those candidates will be encouraged to apply for grants.
* Other candidates: CIC Energigune will evaluate the possibility of offering a position based on obtaining a grant.

2.- Estimated cost of living in Vitoria

Per Student Per Month (SGD)


Accommodation - per person based on appartment sharing (own bedroom)
250 - 400

Transport Expenses (local)

Total Estimated Cost of Living
490 -640

Información complementaria de la oferta:
Apply by website

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