PhD position: X-ray absorption, emission and scattering studies to provide fundamental and applied insight into materials for the capture and catalytic conversion of

LocationZurich, Zurich region, Switzerland

Your Mission

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. It is renowned for its excellent education, its cutting-edge fundamental research and its efforts to put new knowledge and innovations directly into practice. The Laboratory of Energy Science and Engineering (D-MAVT) is working actively on processes to convert carbon dioxide, methane and other light hydrocarbons to value-added fuels and chemicals. We prepare catalysts with controllable properties and apply detailed characterization techniques to identify the active sites, deactivation mechanisms and reaction pathways. Ultimately, this information shall aid the rational design of more active and selective catalysts.

PhD position: X-ray absorption, emission and scattering studies to provide fundamental and applied insight into materials for the capture and catalytic conversion of CO2

Studying heterogeneous catalysts and materials for CO2 capture and conversion at work can provide the fundamental understanding required to advance the design of more effective catalysts and sorbents. To this end, our group develops operando experimental techniques to improve our understanding of reactions converting CO2 and light hydrocarbons into value-added products, leading ultimately to more active and selective catalysts. With the objective to study catalysts and CO2 sorbents under operating conditions, this PhD project focuses on the development and application of operando X-ray based experiments to establish structure-performance relationships for CO2 valorization catalysts via, for instance, the reverse water gas shift or methanol synthesis reactions, and the development of CO2 sorbents such as CaO. The main characterization techniques are X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopies as well as X-ray scattering, such as the Pair Distribution Function (PDF) analysis, using both synchrotron based and benchtop instruments.

This PhD program offers (and ultimately requires) fundamental understanding and proficiency in analysis of the mentioned X-ray based techniques and contribution to the development of operando setups. The candidate will apply these characterization tools to address relevant questions towards establishing structure-performance relationships in materials for CO2 capture and conversion. These studies will be complemented with additional characterization techniques such as transmission and scanning electron microscopy, infra-red and Raman spectroscopies.

Applicants for this position are expected to have a MSc degree in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics or Material Sciences. Experience in the field of material synthesis and/or material characterization are highly desirable. We are looking for highly motivated, committed, and creative individuals, able to work in a team and with excellent communication skills. Ability to work with large data sets and programing is a bonus. Working in a top-level research environment with advanced laboratory infrastructure, the candidate will have a unique opportunity to develop their research abilities. The position is available from June 2019 onwards.

In your application, please refer to
and reference  JobID 43054.