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PhD Student Ferromagnetism Assisted Electrochemical Reactions

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) invites applications for the position of a PhD Student …

8 maanden geleden


de Rondom, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur


The Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) invites applications for the position of a PhD Student Ferromagnetism Assisted Electrochemical Reactions.

Project: Surface-COnfined fast-modulated Plasma for process and Energy intensification in small molecules conversion (SCOPE)

Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
The Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry provides academic education and research at the highest international standards. Staff develop technology and scientific knowledge, thereby meeting long-term societal needs. Scientific curiosity and new insights in the department's field are the points of departure for constant improvement of its areas of expertise in the two thematic clusters Molecular Systems & Materials Chemistry and Chemical & Process Technology. The department was founded in 1957, and has some 500 staff members, 14 full-time professors, 470 Bachelor's and Master's students, 50 Post-Master's students and 190 doctoral candidates.

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
TU/e is a leading international university of technology specializing in Engineering Science & Technology. Through excellent teaching and research we contribute to progress in the technical sciences, to the development of technological innovations, and as a result to the growth of prosperity and welfare in the region and beyond. TU/e maintains close links with industry, healthcare and the building and logistics sectors.

Project description

The use of magnetic nanoparticles to convert electromagnetic energy into heat has been a key strategy for biomedical applications, such as localized hyperthermia cancer treatment, but is also an approach of growing interest in the field of catalysis. The concept of inductive heating has been proven for organic synthesis by using functionalized magnetic nanoparticles inside microreactors, and for gas phase and multiphase hydrogenation reactions. Many results showed that periodic modulation of temperature in chemical reactors could lead to significant improvement of reactor performances, such as increased conversion, improved selectivity, and increased catalyst activity. The origin of this effect remains unclear and this project aims to take a few steps towards the understanding of the effect of local heating on the catalyst surface on the selectivity of electrochemical reactions.

The research tasks of this PhD candidate include:

(1) Study the effect of external electric and magnetic field on the overpotential in an electrochemical reaction

Investigation the effect of external magnetic and electric field inside an electrochemical cell to overcome the current limitations of electrocatalysts. Two families of catalysts will be investigated: supported Pt catalysts and later non-PGM electrocatalysts. In this research, we shall also investigate the synthesis, magnetic and electrocatalytic characterization of core-shell nanoparticles with a magnetic core and a catalytic shell. The induction heating of the electrocatalysts is expected to improve the electrocatalytic kinetics and to yield 100's mV of improvement of the overpotential.

(2) Application of temperature modulation to improve the energy efficiency.

The induction coil produces both electric and magnetic field inside an electrochemical cell. The investigation of the interaction of magnetic field with core-shell catalysts with be performed in the presence of magnetic nanoparticles and core-shell nanoparticles in the catalyst support. The reaction mechanism will be analyzed to offer a further insight towards magnetic electrolysis. The effect of periodic temperature modulation will be studied. The main goal of this task is to improve the energy efficiency of the electrochemical reactor by decreasing the overpotential. The effect of external electric field will also be investigated as a benchmark when no magnetic particles will be loaded onto the support. Different configurations of the electrodes relative the electric field vectors will be studied. The catalyst characterization will be performed before and after reaction.

Project background

The demand for renewable energy rapidly increases following implementation of regulations for the compliance with the sustainable development agenda. Making hydrogen by water electrolysis is considered to be an environmentally-friendly energy generation pathway. During the last decade, there has been a growing interest in the use of earth-abundant catalysts that show both high catalytic performance at low overpotentials and good stability for a variety of energy system applications, including electrocatalytic reactors.

This is a multi-disciplinary project and the PhD student will work in close cooperation with other PhD students and a post-doc.


The ideal candidate has an M.Sc. degree in Physical Chemistry, Catalysis, or related discipline. A sound background in electro catalysis, or applied catalysis is required. Other requirements are excellent analytic and communicative skills. You are fluent in English and you like to work in a multidisciplinary team.


We offer a challenging job for four years in a highly motivated team at a dynamic and ambitious University. You will work with innovative analytic equipment and you will be part of a highly profiled multidisciplinary collaboration where expertise of a variety of disciplines comes together. The TU/e is located in one of the smartest regions of the world en part of the European technology hotspot 'Brainport Eindhoven'; well-known because of many high-tech industries and start-ups. A place to be for talented scientists! The gross monthly salary in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO NU), starts with € 2.325,- in the first year to € 2.972,- in the fourth year. Besides this the TU/e has holiday- and end-of the year allowances, an excellent package of attractive benefits for employees and a modern sports complex. Assistance for finding accommodation can be given. Especially for PhD students the TU/e also offers opportunities for personal development. We do this by offering every PhD student a series of courses that are part of the Proof program as an excellent addition to your scientific education.

Additional information

More information about the project can be obtained from Prof.dr. Evgeny Rebrov (e-mail: E.Rebrov(at)tue.nl). More information about the Eindhoven University of Technology at: www.tue.nl. More information about job conditions and application can be obtained with Mrs. Sandra van de Weijer (P.J.v.d.Weijer(at)tue.nl).

Please upload your application (consisting of a motivation letter, curriculum vitae, list of courses followed (with grades) and the name and email address of at least two references).

Applications will be considered as of this moment until 1st November, 2019.