7 June 2012

PhD Fellowship

CIC Energigune
 Contacto correo-e: info@cicenergigune.com

PhD Fellowship: Overcome kinetic limitations of Na-ion insertion cathodes

Supervisor: Dr. Damien Saurel

While today Li-ion batteries are everywhere in low power electronics and are promised to enter soon the larger power electric vehicles market, they remain a relatively expensive technology for large batteries. For this reason Na-ion batteries have recently experienced a renewal in batteries research as low cost alternative to Li-ion. Nevertheless, the generally lower diffusion of Na+ in the active material, due to its larger ionic radius than Li+, is one of the most limiting factors in order to approach the theoretical capacities in insertion electrodes for Na-ion batteries and hence help reducing their gap with Li-ion batteries performances. Moreover, while the electronic conductivity of most of the candidate materials is unknown, it is also a potential limiting factor since a good electrode needs both high ionic and electronic diffusion capabilities.

Goals: The proposed thesis work aims at quantifying intrinsic electronic and ionic conductivities in Na-ion cathode materials upon charge and discharge of Na-ion batteries, and optimizing the electrode formulation (crystallite size, conductive additive etc...) in order to minimize kinetic limitations related to ionic and electronic conductivities.

Approach: The experimental work will be split in three tasks: the study of the intrinsic conduction properties of bulk active materials, in situ characterization of electrodes conductivities in electrochemical cells and optimization of the electrode formulation.

Interest of the project: It is a novel approach, based on equipment rarely available in research centers working on the subject, involving fundamental science (electrochemistry, solid state chemistry and solid state physics) and focused to an objective of high technological value.

Candidate profile: It is compulsory that the candidate received a strong input in materials science during his formation and had a research experience of at least 4 month in solid state chemistry or physics. Knowledge in electrochemistry would be valuable.

What we offer

Eligible candidates must be registered master students at the UPV/EHU or at other European Universities and being eligible for pre-doctoral fellowship programs.

The contract will commence between September and November 2012. By then, the student should hold the Master degree to have access to the PhD program of a University.

Interested candidates please e-mail the supervisor with its reference in the subject including the following information:

A cover letter
Your CV including the BA/BSc qualification on a scale of 1-4
Names (including e-mail address) of at least two referees
 (*) for non-european candidates, the position will be available only once researchers obtain all the immigration permits.

What we need

1.- Conditions

- Eligible students: candidates must hold a Master degree before the PhD fellowship begins
- National and international candidates are elegible.
- English and skill communications would be particularly valuable.
- Candidates should be highly motivated to pursue a scientific career
- Length: 3 years
- Economical offer: 18.500 € gross per year (aprox. 15.000 net)
- Funding:
 * 5 best researchers evaluated: CIC Energigune will assume the investment based on its internal funds. Nevertheless those candidates will be encouraged to apply for grants.
 * Other candidates: CIC Energigune will evaluate the possibility of offering a position based on obtaining a grant.

2.- Estimated cost of living in Vitoria

 Per Student Per Month (SGD)

Food 200
Accommodation - per person based on appartment sharing (own bedroom) 250 - 400
Transport Expenses (local) 40
Total Estimated Cost of Living 490 -640

Apply by website www.cicenergigune.com

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