The Chair of Atomic-scale characterisationof the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering is looking for a 

PhD student (m,f,x) for 3 years, full-time, E13 (TVL)

extent: full-time
duration: temporary
beginning: as soon as possible
application dateline:

Your tasks:

  •  The group of Atomic-scale Characterization in the Institute for Materials (at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering) is offering a PhD position for the sub-project ‘Exploring the role of defects on the active site evolution in Co-based spinels and hydrous oxides under OER conditions by correlative microscopy’ in the framework of the collaborative research project, SFB/TRR 247 ‘Heterogeneous Oxidation Catalysis in the Liquid Phase’ between Ruhr University Bochum, University of Duisburg-Essen, MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion, Kiel University, Fritz Haber Institute. The focus of the PhD project is to develop a correlative approach that can link the oxidation state, surface morphology and chemical compositions of Co-based spinels and hydrous oxides with their local activity toward oxygen evolution reaction. The new multimodal method will enable the correlation of scanning electrochemical cell microscopy (SECCM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and atom probe tomography (APT) measurements on the same local features that are pre-identified by the scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The PhD candidate will be responsible for the SEM, APT and XPS characterization, and she/he will cooperate closely with another PhD student working on SECCM and AFM analysis in the group of Analytical Chemistry II at the Faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The Ruhr-Universität Bochum is one of the leading research universities. The university draws its strengths from the diversity and the proximity of scientific and engineering disciplines on a single, coherent campus. This highly dynamic setting enables students and researchers to work across traditional boundaries of academic subjects and faculties. The successful candidate will be working in the new research centre for interface-dominated high-performance materials (ZGH) at Ruhr University Bochum, which houses a large and comprehensive suite of equipment dedicated to nanostructure analysis; the centre is among the best facilities of its kind in the world. She or he will have access to a world-class set of laboratories and more than 10 major microscopy platforms, including the state-of-the-art atom probe, aberration-corrected TEM, focused ion beam etc. The successful PhD candidate will be integrated into the SFB/TRR 247 research school (UnoCat), which provides a supporting infrastructure of soft skills training and international/national scientific workshops.

Your profile:

  • The candidate must have:
    • an excellent master's degree in electrochemistry, materials science, or inorganic chemistry
    • can independently conduct potentiostat measurements, including cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, chronopotentiometry, chronoamperometry etc
    • a high level of spoken and written English
    • self-motivated and eager to learn
    • proven ability to plan, organize and achieve work targets, sometimes in demanding  circumstances • can work both independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • The candidate may have:
    • experiences in analyzing X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy data
    • experiences in operating scanning electron microscopy
    • experiences in working on a project about Co-based spinel oxides for oxygen evolution reaction

Our offerings:

  • Challenging and varied tasks with a high degree of personal responsibility
  • Support from and cooperation with competent colleagues
  • Team-oriented cooperation in a committed, international and appreciative team
  • A modern equipped workplace
  • An open working atmosphere

Additional information:

If the position is funded by third-party funds the employee has no teaching obligation.

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum is one of Germany’s leading research universities, addressing the whole range of academic disciplines. A highly dynamic setting enables researchers and students to work across the traditional boundaries of academic subjects and faculties. To create knowledge networks within and beyond the university is RUB’s declared aim.

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum stands for diversity and equal opportunities. For this reason, we favour a working environment composed of heterogeneous teams, and seek to promote the careers of individuals who are underrepresented in our respective professional areas. The Ruhr-Universität Bochum expressly requests job applications from women. In areas in which they are underrepresented they will be given preference in the case of equivalent qualifications with male candidates. Applications from individuals with disabilities are most welcome.

Contact details for your application:

Prof. Tong Li, Phone: +49234 32 26099

Travel expenses for interviews cannot be refunded.

For information on the collection of personal data in the application process see:

Please send your complete and meaningful application documents (informative cover letter, curriculum vitae with references) as a pdf document, quoting the ANR, by 29.07.2022 by e-mail to: Prof. Dr. Tong Li, e-mail:

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