Post doc high-throughput & durable CO2 electrocatalysis
What you will do
Global warming, as a result of industrial age CO2 emissions, is a prime societal concern with growing awareness and calls for policy measures. A behavioral change is important, but technology also needs to come with solutions to reduce emissions and, hopefully, even reverse it. Indeed, with a rapidly growing world population and continuous increase in energy demand, it is understood that a lone switch to renewable energies will not suffice to keep the temperature rise well below +2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. Therefore, a technology that can actively remove and convert CO2 into useful products by electrolysis, would turn CO2 into a precursor giving it economic added value. On a large scale, it will help reduce CO2 emissions and could help to eventually reverse the trend with "negative emissions".
At imec we are looking into concepts for simultaneous capture and conversion of CO2, directly from point sources such as factory chimneys, to enable industrial installations for local production of renewable carbon-based chemicals and fuels. The electrochemical reduction of CO2, powered by renewable energy, has the potential to produce valuable carbon compounds such as CO, formic acid and methanol (C1 compounds) as well as short-chain hydrocarbons like ethylene or ethanol (C2 compounds). Current CO2 electrolyzers are limited in efficiency and result in mixtures of various carbon species and hydrogen. Novel catalytic approaches are needed to increase product selectivity, CO2 conversion rate and energy efficiency. For throughput, CO2 gas sorption materials are of interest to concentrate the CO2 in the gas diffusion electrode based on our nanomesh technology. Ionic coupling between the membrane and the porous catalytic electrode is key also for performance and durability.
As a postdoc in the imec power to molecules program, you will collaborate and help manage the different ongoing research projects on CO2 electroreduction and fabrication of novel CO2 gas diffusion electrodes. Candidates with experience in electrochemical processing and characterization, and a keen interest in electrocatalysis are invited to apply. Experience with (online) quantitative product analysis methods, such as Gas Chromatography, High Performance Liquid Chromatography or Mass Spectrometry is a plus. You will be a daily advisor for PhD and master thesis students. You will plan and execute your own research on high throughput and selective CO2 electroreduction.
We expect from you as this post-doc researcher:
- Delivering inventive contributions to the development and optimization of gas-diffusion-electrodes
- Assisting in project management of these activities within imec, which includes follow-up and reporting of tasks
- Setting out the experimental plans to timely achieve the targets defined in these projects
- Discussing and defending these experimental plans with other team members and scientific management
- Timely and accurately executing and analyzing experiments in collaboration with other team members, including researchers, PhD students and process assistants.
- Regular and effective reporting of the progress to the management of imec and our partners
- Daily supervision of PhD, master, and intern students
- Ensuring good practice in the lab and setting up process and characterization protocols in your field of expertise
What we do for you
We offer you the opportunity to join one of the world’s premier research centers in nanotechnology at its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. With your talent, passion and expertise, you’ll become part of a team that makes the impossible possible. Together, we shape the technology that will determine the society of tomorrow.
We are committed to being an inclusive employer and proud of our open, multicultural, and informal working environment with ample possibilities to take initiative and show responsibility. We commit to supporting and guiding you in this process; not only with words but also with tangible actions. Through imec.academy, 'our corporate university', we actively invest in your development to further your technical and personal growth.
We are aware that your valuable contribution makes imec a top player in its field. Your energy and commitment are therefore appreciated by means of a 2-year contract with a market appropriate salary and benefits.
Who you are
- You have a PhD degree in Science or in Science of Engineering
- You have experience in electrochemistry and electrocatalytic conversion
- Knowledge of semiconductor electrochemistry, and/or electrolyzer systems and/or online analysis is a plus
- You are creative and like to think with a team to solve problems
- You have experience in collaborative research projects and can effectively summarize a project status
- You take initiative and can work on your own, while you keep on consulting and discussing with a team
- You can plan your work and that of your colleagues according to your deadlines and deliverables
- You are result-driven and can meet quality output with stringent deadlines
- You can guide and motivate team members in their work
- You have an impeccable knowledge of English, given the international character of imec
- With our postdoctoral research program, we target to bring in external knowledge and skills. Therefore, we are looking for candidates who did not stay or work/study in Belgium for more than 24 months in the past 3 years (short stays such as holiday, participation in conferences, etc. are not taken into account).
- As we want to invest in young researchers, we are targeting freshly graduated PhD students or with max 4 years of research experience after PhD.