PhD Position (w/m/d) – Scaling of innovative sintering processes to produce oxide-ceramic-based all-solid-state batteries

  • Contract
  • Germany
  • Posted 3 months ago

Forschungszentrum Jülich

Your Job:

Future battery technologies are urgently needed to make electromobility and home storage even cheaper, safer and more powerful. Solid-state batteries based on oxide-ceramic Li-ion conductors (electrolyte) are the most promising approach for significantly improving safety and performance. However, ceramic materials have so far had to be processed at very high temperatures, which has had an unfavorable impact on costs. A new, pressure-assisted sintering technique (Field Assisted Sintering Technique / Spark Plasma Sintering) can for the first time reduce energy consumption and thus costs by a factor of 100. However, at the basic level and in adapting the existing manufacturing route to the new process, there are still many questions that need to be resolved for successful use in industry.

Within the scope of the doctoral thesis, the FAST/SPS process will be specifically adapted to oxide-ceramic Li-ion conductors and active materials. For this purpose, both the materials of the system itself and the process parameters have to be optimized in order to minimize the reactions with the battery materials. At the end of the project, an energy-saving and simple industrial production of solid-state batteries should be demonstrated. The work will take place within an international project with project partners from industry as well as academic partners in Germany and Taiwan and will also include a stay in Taiwan for several months.

Your tasks will mainly include the:

  • Use of state-of-the-art, industrially established processes for manufacturing the ceramic materials and components of the solid-state batteries.
  • Sintering of the manufactured components (e.g. separators, cathodes) and full cells using the new, energy-saving FAST/SPS process
  • Optimization of the FAST/SPS system as well as the process and cell design in order to achieve the highest possible cell performance and thus demonstrate industrial relevance
  • Characterization of the materials, cells as well as degradation phenomena using advanced analytical methods (including X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy (SEM), secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS), optical emission spectroscopy (OES), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)).

You can thus gain industry-relevant knowledge about the complete manufacturing process of future battery systems – from powder synthesis to characterization – during the doctoral thesis.

Your Profile:

  • Successfully completed scientific studies (University Master) in the field of materials science, engineering, physics or chemistry
  • Very good knowledge in the field of solid-state chemistry and materials engineering
  • Experience in preparation/ fabrication/ manufacturing processes of inorganic materials
  • Knowledge in the field of electrochemistry is an advantage
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • A high degree of teamwork and flexibility, as well as a willingness to show a high level of commitment

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

  • The work is carried out in a strong, internationally recognized team in one of the largest and best-equipped research facilities in Europe
  • You will participate in a consortium of universities and other national and international research institutions funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in project meetings and conferences and to present your results (online and face-to-face events)
  • You can further develop your personal strengths through our extensive training program within the HITEC Graduate School (online and face-to-face events)
  • Your continuous professional supervision will be taken over by your scientific supervisor Dr. Martin Finsterbusch
  • Your doctoral studies will be carried out at RWTH Aachen University under Prof. Dr. Olivier Guillon (doctoral supervisor and coordinator of the German-Taiwanese project)
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service

The position is for a fixed term of 3 years, with possible long-term prospects. Pay in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60 % of a monthly salary as special payment („Christmas bonus“). Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at:

In addition to exciting tasks and the collaborative working atmosphere at Jülich, we have a lot more to offer:

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.

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