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Positions / Theses

Research Associate / Researcher (Praedoc) (m/f/d) / PhD position.
"CO2 electroreduction - mechanistic studies for renewable fuels"

with 75% part-time employment limited to three years (end of project)
(salary group 13 TV-L FU)

Identifier: CO2-Reduction-2022
Applications until September 24, 2022.

The Working Group:
We are an international team of physicists, chemists and biologists. Our topic is on the one hand light-driven water splitting in biological photosynthesis. On the other hand, it is non-biological catalyst materials for (i) artificial photosynthesis (solar fuels) and (ii) electrocatalytic production of non-fossil fuels (e-fuels). Our focus is on new physical operando experiments to study the systems under operating conditions, with the goal of understanding the processes at the atomic level. The topic of the advertised PhD position is in the area of non-biological catalyst materials for the production of non-fossil fuels. 

We offer:

  • Opportunity for a PhD in science on a technologically important sustainability topic, specifically the material storage of renewable energy through electrically driven CO2 conversion
  • Entry into a) current methods of operando spectroscopy and b) exploration of atomic level reaction mechanisms.
  • Individual combination of creative independent work and research in the working group team
  • Cooperation and regular exchange with project partner group at the Univ. Bayreuth (Prof. Christina Roth, Chair of Materials Process Engineering)
  • Professional personal development in the Berlin Cluster of Excellence "UniSysCat" (Unifying Systems Catalysis), optional membership in the Graduate School of the Cluster of Excellence, see https://www.ec2-big-nse.de/about-us

Task area:

  • Collaboration in the DFG project "Confinement effects in CO2 electroreduction - mechanistic studies on surface active porous Cu electrodes".
  • Independent operando experiments: combination of electrochemical protocols with spatially resolved Raman spectroscopy and video microscopy; X-ray spectroscopy (XAS, XANES, EXAFS) in a team at BESSY-Synchrotron, with measurement campaigns in day and night shifts.
  • Computer-aided data analysis and simulations
  • Supervision of student theses; publication of own research results in international journals; "Science Communication" on climate issues and energy transition.

Recruitment requirements:
Completed scientific studies (diploma, master's degree). University degree (Diplom, Master) in physics, chemistry or material sciences.

Desired qualifications:

  • Excellent final grades, aptitude, and willingness to engage in dedicated doctoral studies
  • Interest in learning new topics and methods beyond the boundaries of the discipline
  • In-depth experience in setting up or conducting physical experiments or scientific programming for a minimum of six months (as part of the master's thesis)
  • Prior knowledge and experience in at least one of the following areas: spectroscopy; electrochemistry; computer-based data analysis; numerical simulations
  • Commitment to independent scientific work within an international team. The confident handling of computer systems as well as good English language skills are required.
Applications should be sent electronically by e-mail to Ms. Sieglinde Endrias quoting the identifier "CO2-Reduction-2022", with application documents attached in PDF format (preferably as a single file): endrias@physik.fu-berlin.de.

[Please do not forget to quote "CO2-Reduction-2022" in the subject line of the email.]

Bachelor or Master thesis
  • biophysics / biological photosynthesis

  • energy research / artificial photosynthesis
    (catalysts for non-fossil fuels from water, CO2 and renewable energy)

If you want to join the group as a Bachelor or Master student working on your thesis, you could do so either in the field of biological photosynthesis (biophysics) or artificial photosynthesis (energy research for replacing fossil fuels).

Please contact me for inquiring whether there are openings for pursuing your Bachelor/Master thesis project.


Prof. Holger Dau, e-mail

Application for PostDoc fellowships

We will support applications for a PostDoc fellowship (e.g., the prestigious and well-funded PostDoc fellowships of the "Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation") provided the applicant:

  • holds a PhD in physics, chemistry or biology (or will get his PhD within the next 8 months),

  • is able to communicate in English efficiently,

  • is scientifically highly qualified (as proven by several excellent first-author publications in international journals),

  • has specific experience in a research area or experimental method related to the research interest of our group.
    For example, experience regarding photosynthesis research, biophysical infrared spectroscopy, solar fuels, electrocatalysis, oxygen evolution reaction, X-ray spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation, Raman spectroscopy, or further electrochemical operando methods

  • is highly interested in biophysical research or energy research (solar fuels)

  • is highly motivated, and intends to promote his/her academic career by a PostDoc stay in our lab at the Free University in Berlin.

Prof. Holger Dau, e-mail