PhD students in electrochemical methane conversion into green fuels and valuable chemicals (2 vacancies)


Process in the Interviews phase

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The mission of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) is to achieve the highest level of scientific and technological excellence in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Its research lines focus on the newly-discovered physical and chemical properties that arise from the behaviour of matter at the nanoscale. ICN2 has been awarded with the Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence distinction for three consecutive periods (2014-2018 and 2018-2022 and 2023-2026). ICN2 comprises 20 Research Groups, 7 Technical Development and Support Units and Facilities, and 2 Research Platforms, covering different areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Job Title: PhD students in electrochemical methane conversion into green fuels and valuable chemicals (2 vacancies)

Research area or group: NanoElectrocatalysis and Sustainable Chemistry

Description of Group/Project: The NanoElectrocatalysis Group combines electrochemistry, materials science and in situ characterisation at the atomic and molecular levels to design novel electrocatalyst materials for the conversion and storage of renewable energy, as well as the production of sustainable fuels and chemicals. We offer stimulating working conditions in a vibrant, interdisciplinary, and international research environment. The PhD positions will be part of the ERC Consolidator Project "ATOMISTIC" (Atomic-Scale Tailored Materials for Electrochemical Methane Activation and Production of Valuable Chemicals). Within this PhD project, the candidates will prepare and characterise functional electrocatalyst nanomaterials. They will combine electrochemical methods with in-situ characterisation to investigate the active sites and the molecular mechanisms of electrochemical methane oxidation as well as other electrocatalytic reactions to produce green fuels and chemicals.

Main Tasks and responsibilities:

The successful candidate will combine classical electrochemical methods with in situ characterisation techniques including vibrational spectroscopy (infrared and Raman spectroscopy), electrochemical scanning probe microscopy and electrochemical mass spectrometry to investigate the structure-property relations of electrocatalyst materials as well as the mechanism of electrocatalytic reactions. The main reactions of interest involve methane, oxygen and carbon monoxide electrocatalysis for the production of renewable fuels. The candidate will develop electrochemical and in situ characterisation methods and setups for the real-time detection of intermediates and products during electrocatalytic reactions. This PhD will be part of the Electrochemistry - Science and Technology interuniversity PhD programme and will be carried out in collaboration with other groups at both ICN2 and foreign research institutions. The candidate will carry out independent research under supervision, write scientific papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and disseminate their work in national and international conferences.


We are looking for a creative, curious and innovative candidate within the field(s) of chemistry, chemical engineering, nanoscience and nanotechnology, materials science, physics or related areas with an academic level equivalent to a master's degree. The candidate should have strong experience in electrochemistry, electroanalytical techniques, materials characterisation and/or in situ microscopy or spectroscopy for the characterisation of electrochemical reactions. Relevant publications within electrochemistry are desirable. Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English are required. The successful candidate will be able to develop experimental methods, advance the PhD project and work independently and as part of a team.

Summary of conditions:

  • Full time work (37,5h/week)
  • Contract Length: Temporary (predoctoral)
  • Location: Bellaterra (Barcelona)
  • Salary will depend on qualifications and demonstrated experience.
  • Support to the relocation issues.
  • Life Insurance.

Estimated Incorporation date: As soon as possible.

How to apply:

All applications must be made via the ICN2 website and include the following:

  1. A cover letter.
  2. A full CV including contact details.
  3. 2 Reference letters or referee contacts.

Deadline for applications: May 5, 2023

Applications will be continuously reviewed. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview.

Equal opportunities:

ICN2 is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion of people with disabilities.

ICN2 is following the procedure for contract of people with disabilities according with article 59 of the Royal Decree 1/2015, of 30 of October.

Process in the Interviews phase

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