PhD scholarship in 3D electron microscopy of nanostructures in energy devices

DTU Energy
Monday 01 May 17

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The section for Imaging and Structural Analysis (ISA) in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Energy) is seeking a candidate for a PhD position in 3D electron microscopy of nanostructures in energy devices. The performance and life-time of energy devices based on functional materials like for instance fuel cells, electrolysis cells or thermoelectrics are closely linked to their nano- and microscale granular structure. The aim of this project is to investigate the influence of grain orientations and interfacial contacts to the performance of these materials. These studies are facilitated through a novel technique for non-destructive 3D characterization of nanocrystalline materials, called 3D Orientation Mapping in The Transmission Electron Microscope (3D-OMiTEM), which is developed at DTU.
DTU Energy is among the world’s leaders in the research and development of a broad variety of energy conversion and storage technologies. DTU Energy has cutting edge facilities and competences for fabrication, testing and characterisation of energy conversion and storage devices.
The project will be conducted in close collaboration with DTU Physics. DTU Physics is pioneering multi-scale characterization of materials utilizing neutron, X-ray and electron modalities.
This is a fully funded position offered by DTU Energy with all employee benefits.

Responsibilities and tasks
As an ISA PhD candidate you will be part of the ISA team, interacting regularly with researchers at DTU Energy and researchers at DTU Physics. The PhD position has a multidisciplinary nature and thus you will need to draw on the knowledge of several experts to reach the project aims.
You will need to develop strong competences in transmission electron microscopy and programming in order to handle the data acquisition and analysis. Great emphasis will be on crystallography and physical and chemical properties of grains on the nano- to micrometer scale. Interpretation of the data requires that you develop competences within physical and chemical knowledge about the conversion processes taking place in the energy devices, which means solid state physics/-chemistry and electrochemistry. A natural part of the PhD project will also be image processing to quantify the data, and management/analysis of large datasets. A part of the PhD project will take place at our partners at Chongqing University in China.

Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in Engineering.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Head of Section Luise Theil Kuhn, Scientist Søren Bredmose Simonsen at DTU Energy and Senior Scientist Søren Schmidt at DTU Physics. 
The candidate must have a strong background and competences in solid state physics or solid state chemistry or materials science with emphasis on crystallography.
We specifically welcome experience and qualifications in transmission electron microscopy and/or electrochemistry.
We expect the PhD candidate to start during the autumn of 2017.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.
We are currently present on both Risø Campus, close to the town of Roskilde, and Lyngby Campus, north of Copenhagen. In 2019, the entire department will be moving into new facilities at Lyngby Campus.

The workplace will mainly be at DTU Energy, Risø campus. The candidate is expected to spend time at DTU Physics as well as taking part in measurements at Chongqing University in China.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Head of Section Luise Theil Kuhn, tel.: +45 4677 4712.

You can read more about DTU Energy on

Please submit your online application no later than 1. June 2017.

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. The Department, which has more than 200 employees, was founded in 2012.The section for Imaging and Structural Analysis (ISA) is leading the department’s research in imaging and scattering experiments with X-rays , neutrons and electrons with focus on in situ and in operando applications.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.