Two PhD positions in chemistry towards polymer-based solid-state lithium batteries


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Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 46.000 students, 7.300 employees and a turnover of SEK 7.3 billion.


The Department of Chemistry – Ångström conducts research and education in the chemistry field. The department has more than 200 employees and has a turnover of 200 million SEK. At the department’s six programs, we conduct very successful research of a high international standard. We have a large number of externally funded research projects, often with international cooperation and we see continued good growth in our subject area. The department has education assignments in engineering programs and master’s programs. More information is available on our website.

The Department of Chemistry – Ångström Laboratory has for many years hosted a research environment focused on the development of materials and their applications within the energy storage area: the Ångström Advanced Battery Centre. We develop novel electrode and electrolyte materials, characterize them, evaluate and improve them with respect to battery performance, and study fundamental chemical processes and properties using both experimental and computational techniques. The research is, as such, both fundamental and applied.

Subject description/research project: 

The dominating chemistry in batteries for portable electronics (mobile phones and laptops) and electric vehicles is currently based on redox reactions involving lithium. This is due to lithium being the lightest metal, making the energy density of the battery high, as well as the low potential for the reduction and oxidation of lithium that enables a large overall voltage of the battery.

The project aims at further increasing the energy density by the development of anode-less batteries. The anode-less battery will be achieved by tailoring a solid polymer electrolyte system for lithium plating and stripping at an efficiency close to unity. To accomplish this, the project will work to design and tailor solid polymer electrolytes that will be implemented in prototype anode-less cell designs. Advanced electrochemical characterization will be used to investigate the performance of the battery systems.

Advanced analytical methods, e.g. electron spectroscopy (both in-house as well as at synchrotron facilities), that are capable of measuring the composition of interfaces at nm range will be used to gain an atomic-level understanding of the reactive interface between the solid polymer electrolyte and the plated lithium which is essential for the electrolyte tailoring. Both PhD students will work in close collaboration, while still focusing on different aspects for the development of anode-free batteries. The project is part of a bilateral Sweden–Taiwan collaboration and will involve travels and exchange visits to the research group at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and to the experimental facilities at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center in Taiwan.

Work duties: 

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%). The students are expected to participate in joint group activities, such as seminars and undertaking lab equipment responsibilities. The work will further entail traveling to meetings, experiments and exchange visits at the facilities of the collaborators at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.

The first focus area of this project is on materials and cell development, entailing the design and tailoring of polymer electrolyte materials and formulations, battery cell testing and advanced electrochemical characterization.

The second focus area is on the development of methodologies for surface analysis of polymer electrode/lithium interfaces followed by photoelectron spectroscopy characterization of interfaces in promising anode-free battery systems. This involves both use of instrumentation in-house as well as at synchrotron facilities.

Eligibility requirements: 

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Required qualifications:

  • Degree or equivalent as above in chemistry or physics
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Student should be highly motivated, willing to ask questions and eager to learn new science and show strong perseverence in the face of challenging tasks.

Desirable requirements: Practical experience from working with polymeric materials, electrochemical materials characterization, core-level spectroscopy and/or spectroscopic surface characterization is desirable.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment: The rules about PhD students are found in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5 §§1-7 and the university’s rules and guidelines.

Application procedure: The application should include a statement of research interest, CV, certificates of exams, degrees and grades, a copy of Master thesis, published article or relevant materials, if available. Also, contact information of at least two reference persons should be included.


Salary: According to local agreement (Local collective agreement for doctoral students and students).

Starting date: 01-09-2020 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Fixed-term for four years.

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: Jonas.Mindemark@kemi.uu.se
Maria Hahlin@kemi.uu.se

Please submit your application by 31 July 2020, UFV-PA 2020/2683.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at www.uu.se/joinus. You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at ifss@uadm.uu.se.

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University’s recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Chemistry – Ångström Laboratory

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Seko Universitetsklubben seko@uadm.uu.se
ST/TCO tco@fackorg.uu.se
Saco-rådet saco@uadm.uu.se

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2020/2683

Last application date: 2020-07-31


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