PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago
There are many puzzle pieces that are required to enable the energy transition towards a sustainable future. It is undeniable that production of renewable energy alone is not sufficient. Energy storage is for example required in the transport sector, but also to sustain an electric grid that runs fully on renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, there is no “one-fits-all” technology that can tackle all requirements in these fundamentally different fields, while still being economically feasible. While lithium-ion batteries are currently the dominating technology, they have many shortcomings, especially when going to large scale storage, where energy density is not the priority. A possible alternative are redox flow batteries, which come with their own set of challenges.
Within this PhD project, you will work on novel concepts and contribute to solving the existing issues with redox flow batteries, such as enabling alternatives for the existing vanadium-based electrolytes and improving energy densities to widen the possible range of applications. Apart from changes to the electrolyte itself, this will also require improvements in the kinetics of the utilized electrodes. To this end, imec can offer you access to a novel type of nanostructured electrode with a unique combination of surface area, porosity, and mechanical stability. While we are already applying these electrodes for water electrolysis and CO2 reduction, developing them further and thereby enabling their application to different areas is a main challenge.
Going one step further, the objective of this PhD project is also to explore fundamentally new concepts for redox flow batteries, pulling from the full spectrum of possibilities that materials science and electrochemistry has to offer. Therefore, state-of-the-art facilities and characterization methods are at your disposal at imec and . You will be furthermore working in an international team together with other PhD students, postdocs, researchers, and engineers and benefit from their combined experience. This will allow you to implement your own work as the backbone of a novel concept in this emerging field.
Required background: materials science, chemistry, physics, engineering technology, bioengineering
Type of work: experimental
Supervisor: Philippe Vereecken
Daily advisor: Rico Rupp
The reference code for this position is 2023-109. Mention this reference code on your application form.