Open positions for PhD students


PhD students interested in one (or more) of the topics listed below please contact the lecturer offering the position. Please note that not all available topics are listed here - it is always worth to ask for current possibilities.



Freunberger group:

Mixed Conductors for High-Energy Batteries

Battery materials that promise a step-change in energy density compared with current Li-ion batteries rely on fundamentally different reactions to store charge, e.g. Si alloying, O2 or S reduction instead of intercalation1-7. They have in common high volume changes on cycling and poor conductivity. For the active component of a battery electrode to function it must be simultaneously in contact with ionic and electronic pathways to electrolyte and current collector. State-of-the-art conducting additives and binders in the composite electrodes cannot ensure ideal contact for such materials and fail to exploit their full potential.

The research

In this PhD thesis in the frame of an ERC project we will pursue a holistic approach to tackle the above mentioned challenges in combination by elaborating new routes for electrode materials with tailored ionic and electronic wiring. The aims are: (1) Material synthesis and characterization of new types of ion and electron conductors. (2) Elucidating structure, charge carrier mobility and reaction mechanisms using a combination of electrochemical and (in-situ) spectroscopic, diffractive and microscopic techniques.

Aspects of the project will be undertaken with collaborators across Europe and beyond.

The candidate

You hold a M.Sc. degree or equivalent in Chemistry or Materials Science. You are ambitious, imaginative, hard-working and self-motivated and have a strong knowledge and interest in materials science, polymer chemistry, electrochemistry and characterization techniques. You have an excellent ability to speak and write in English. Queries about the post should be addressed to Stefan Freunberger ( Please send your application per email including motivation letter, CV, transcript of university grades and a recommendation letter.

[1] P. G. Bruce, S.A. Freunberger, L. Hardwick, J-M. Tarascon. Nature Materials, 11, 19 (2012).
Z. Peng, S.A. Freunberger, Y. Chen, P. G. Bruce. Science, 337, 563 (2012).
S. A. Freunberger, et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2011).
Y. Chen, S.A. Freunberger, Z. Peng, O. Fontaine, P. G. Bruce. Nature Chemistry, 5, 489 (2013).
N. Mahne, O. Fonaine, M. Thotiyl, M. Wilkening, S.A. Freunberger, Chemical Science, (2017).
N. Mahne, B. Schafzahl, C, Leypold, M, Leypold, S. Grumm, A. Leitgeb, G. Strohmeier, M. Wilkening, O. Fonaine, D. Kramer, C. Slugovc, S. Borisov, S.A. Freunberger, Nature Energy, 17036 (2017).
S.A. Freunberger, Nature Energy, 17091 (2017).





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