PhD scholarship in On-Chip Microsupercapacitors for Electrochemical Energy Storage

Monday 22 Feb 21

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Apply no later than 19 March 2021
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Are you an engineer motivated by challenging tasks in micro- and nanofabrication? Are you keen on advancing research in miniaturized integrated devices for energy storage? We are looking for a skilled PhD candidate to develop on-chip microsupercapacitors as part of the project ‘Pyrolytic Hierarchical Organic Electrodes for sustaiNable Electrochemical Energy Systems (PHOENEEX)’, which is funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant. The overall vision of PHOENEEX is to develop sustainable electrochemical energy systems. In this context, you will work in close collaboration with several researchers in an interdisciplinary team.

You will be affiliated with DTU Nanolab, where we conduct cross-disciplinary research and apply micro- and nanotechnology to a wide range of scientific disciplines and applications. The Biomaterial Microsystems group is a highly ambitious group, pursuing research on microfabrication of 3D polymer and carbon structures and devices and their application in drug delivery, bioelectrochemistry and sustainable energy.

Responsibilities and tasks
Miniaturized electrochemical capacitors, conventionally defined as microsupercapacitors (μSCs), gain increasing attention as potential means for energy storage in implants, sensor platforms or personal electronics requiring power in the order of μW. However, the power and energy density in μSCs is still rather low and the performance rapidly decreases during continuous operation.

The overall aim of this PhD project is to fabricate on-chip µSCs providing high energy density and long operational stability. For this purpose, you will investigate novel approaches for the fabrication of highly interdigitated 3D carbon microelectrodes with tailored material properties, large surface area and hierarchical architecture using pyrolysis. In this process, polymer precursor micro- and nanostructures are exposed to high temperatures (> 900°C) in inert atmosphere (N2 or Ar) and converted into pyrolytic carbon. Your primary tasks will be to:

  • plan and execute experimental research in the DTU Nanolab cleanroom facilities
  • develop and optimize novel processes for fabrication of 3D carbon electrodes
  • fabricate on-chip µSCs with high electrode surface area
  • perform characterization of the electrode materials
  • analyse the electrochemical performance of the µSCs
  • collaborate with an interdisciplinary research team in a focused scientific effort
  • contribute as teaching assistant at DTU Nanolab and supervise BSc and MSc student projects

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) in micro- or nanoengineering, physics, mechanical engineering, material engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. You must have hands-on experience in micro- and nanofabrication. Preferably, you have worked with electrochemistry and methods for material characterization. You are able to interact with researchers in a very interdisciplinary environment. A high grade average and excellent English language skills are decisive to be considered for the scholarship.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Prof. Stephan Sylvest Keller, Prof. Henri Jansen and postdoctoral researcher Babak Rezaei (DTU Nanolab).

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. 

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Prof. Stephan Sylvest Keller, You can read more about DTU Nanolab and the Biomaterial Microsystems group at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.   

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 19 March 2021 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Nanolab is a common infrastructure and research facility located at and fully owned by the Technical University of Denmark, DTU. The core facilities consist of a large cleanroom and a state-of-the-art electron microscopy center inaugurated in 2007. The research activities carried out at DTU Nanolab span from nano- and microfabrication with Silicon-based materials, carbon and polymers to the highly sophisticated analysis of nanoscale materials in hard and soft matter. Since 2018, DTU Nanolab is extended to provide expertise in soft matter from small molecule complexes to biological cells.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.