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Postdoc Position (m/f/d) | X-ray Spectroscopy

 The Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (MPI CEC) in Mülheim an der Ruhr studies fundamental chemical processes for energy storage in chemical molecules.

Within the DFG funded Collaborative Research Center (CRC) /Transregio 247 "Heterogeneous Oxidation Catalysis in the Liquid Phase" the Inorganic Chemistry department of the FHI and the Inorganic Spectroscopy department of the MPI CEC is offering a Postdoc position (m/f/div) in X-ray spectroscopy.

The position is available immediately. The postdoctoral position is initially for 24 months, with the possibility of an additional one-year renewal.

The position will be based in the Department of Inorganic Spectroscopy in Mülheim an der Ruhr, but will require frequent travel to Berlin, as well as other synchrotron radiation facilities. The successful candidate will be supervised by Prof. Serena DeBeer and will work in close collaboration with Dr. Olaf Rüdiger and Dr. Axel Knop.

Your tasks

The appointed researcher will investigate the working structure of spinel and perovskite model catalysts active and selective on the liquid phase oxidation under working and quasi in situ conditions using different X-ray spectroscopy techniques. With this approach we will contribute to the main goal of the CRC/TRR 247 that aims at bringing heterogeneous oxidation catalysis in the liquid phase to a level of fundamental understanding that is comparable to metal catalysis in the gas phase, i.e. to unravel the nature of the catalytically active sites and the reaction mechanisms.

This position will offer the opportunity of combining operando X-ray spectroscopy measurements   in the soft-, tender and hard X-ray energy range, measuring absorption and also emission, both resonant and non-resonant. Dedicated electrochemical cells have been implemented and will be further developed.  The operando experiment in the soft and tender X-ray range will be performed mainly at the synchrotron radiation facility BESSY in Berlin. The measurements in the hard X-ray range will be conducted at the PINK beamline at BESSY as well as at other international synchrotron radiation facilities, including the ESRF, Diamond Light Source, and PETRA. The project builds on a strong collaboration with the co-applicants of the Electron Microscopy group of the Inorganic Chemistry Department of the Fritz-Haber-Institute (Dr. Thomas Lunkenbein) and the electron paramagnetic resonance group (Dr. Alexander Schnegg). Further collaboration with partners within the CRC/TRR 247 will be established.

Your qualifications

  • Completed scientific higher education and PhD in natural sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Material Science, Physical Chemistry or Chemical Engineering) preferably with a specialization in heterogeneous catalysis or energy science.
  • Experience with X-ray spectroscopy measurements and analysis at synchrotron beamlines would be ideal
  • Interest and experience in instrumentation design and engineering tasks (e.g., assembly and construction of in situ cells).
  • Proven ability to write publications.
  • Experience performing and analyzing complex experiments with a high drive to solve scientific and practical/instrumental challenges independently.
  • Collaborative spirit, teamwork, and excellent English skills.

Our offer

We offer an international, dynamic working environment in a renowned research institute, family-friendly jobs and flexible working hours. Remuneration is according to TVöD (federal government), in line with your qualifications and professional experience. In addition, the usual social benefits of the public service (federal service) are granted.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

Your application

Your detailed application should include a cover letter with description of past experience, a curriculum vitae with the contact details of three referees and a copy of your degree certificate. If we have aroused your interest then please send your application preferably in digital form until 31st August 2022 stating 

the reference code “SD016” to:

Professor Dr. Serena DeBeer
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion
Stiftstrasse 34-36
45470 Muelheim an der Ruhr


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