The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering conducts research in the fields of pure chemistry, biological engineering, applied chemistry and chemical engineering. The department is also the host for several large excellence centra such as SuMo, SUPRA, HTC, KCK, and the Chalmers part of WWSC.
The Applied Surface Chemistry group belongs to the Division of Applied Chemistry and has a leading research position in areas such as heterogeneous catalysis, nanomaterials, NMR diffusometry, surfactants and microemulsions. The research activities have the scope to develop new materials for a variety of applications, for instance in medical implants, marine paints, or fuel cells. The collaboration with industries is consequently very strong. The whole group consists of more than 50 employees, of which about 35 are PhD students. The international and interdisciplinary environment makes the Applied Surface Chemistry group a stimulating and dynamic place to work in.
The aim with this project is to contribute to the development of a cleaner and sustainable society by finding alternative ways to supply energy. Our goal is to improve the existing technologies for energy conversion devices, like Li-ion batteries or fuel cells, by developing alternative electrolytic materials to those conventionally used. The basic approach is to combine a solid matrix (for instance an oxide network) with a liquid phase (for instance an ionic liquid), and obtain a so-called gel. A key issue is to understand how structural modifications, on both the solid and the liquid phase, may affect the properties of the resulting material.
Different sol-gel synthesis routes will be investigated and the materials will mainly be characterized by NMR spectroscopy at the Swedish NMR center in Gothenburg. However, complementary techniques like rheology and infrared spectroscopy will also be employed. The project is experimental in its nature, even though the student should also be interested in modeling experimental data and achieving a physical understanding of the results.
The employment is for a period of 4 years and 3 months, whereof about ~ 5% is devoted to teaching or other duties at the Division. The remaining time is for research activities within the PhD project as well as for graduate courses. As a Chalmers employee the monthly salary will be set according to current salary agreements.
The applicant to this position should have a Master degree in physical chemistry, applied chemistry, materials science or another relevant area. The student must be a highly motivated and self-driving person, should have a genuine interest in facing and solving scientific problems, and is supposed to have strong collaboration skills. Since the project is at the borderline between chemistry and physics, it is important that the student appreciates working in the lab as well as with theoretical tools. The knowledge of the Swedish language is desirable but not a must, whereas a good level of spoken and written English is required. The selected PhD student can start as soon as possible.