Doctoral Candidate #7

Project title: Operando X-ray analysis of bimetallic electrocatalysts.

Project objectives: Study the electronic structure (oxidation and spin state, local coordination) and elemental distribution of Cu/M electrocatalysts fabricated within the network by means of nano X-ray fluorescence analysis and X-ray absorption and emission (photon-in/photon-out) spectroscopy. Characterization of different bimetallic systems and stoichiometries will shed light on the key parameters determining the best catalysts. This project includes the development of novel X-ray instrumentation and data analysis methods.

Expected outcome: (i) Determine stoichiometry and chemical changes in the Cu/M bimetallic compounds under simulated working conditions. (ii) Understand relations between the electronic structure-composition and the catalytic properties of Cu/M layers. (iii) Define adequate protocols for in-situ characterization and nano-characterization of Cu/M bimetallic layers.

Working context: DC#7 will be hosted at the ESRF (France) and will be enrolled in the PhD school of the University of Grenoble Alpes, supervised by Dr. P. Glatzel and co-Supervised by Dr. Julie Villanova and Dr. Frederic Maillard. Part of the activity will be carried out during secondment periods at POLITO to learn on the fabrication process and sample preparation for its characterization at the ESRF, at ENVIPARK to learn about catalysts electrochemical characterization and at ADVENT for a training on membranes for CO2RR processes.

Starting date and contract duration: The contract will start no later than the 1st of November 2023 and will last 36 months.

Specific requirements: To do a thesis at the doctoral school in physics in Grenoble, you must first hold a Master’s degree obtained in France or abroad for which your internship will have been carried out in a research laboratory. Holding a Master of Science degree is mandatory for admission. Some foreign universities admit PhD students after four years of university without them having completed their Master’s degree; This is not possible in France.

The ED of physics of Grenoble applies an entry selection which consists in admitting only students who have obtained an average equivalent to 12 or more, during their last year of Master. In the case of an application from a student who has obtained his Master’s degree in a foreign country, this selection is examined by the admission committee, taking into account the evaluation system of the country where the Master was obtained. For any master average between 12 and 13, a conditional registration will be given with audition before the ED office at the end of the 1st year for a re-registration.

For further information on this position please contact Dr. P. Glatzel  (email:

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