PhD student In-depth study of chalcogenide materials for photo-electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to methanol


Within the institute for materials research (IMO-IMOMEC) of Hasselt University there is a PhD position in the domain of chalcogenide thin film materials for energy applications. Such chalcogenide materials are interesting for application in electrochemical devices, i.e. for photo and/or electrocatalysis. The electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide represents a promising route to convert CO2 into fuels and valuable carbon-based chemicals using electrical energy. Industry releases relatively large amounts of CO2, which by use of such processes could be captured, fed back into the process as a resource, or temporarily stored through so-called Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Hence, this field of research is currently attracting a lot of interest. Chalcogenide materials are very promising for the conversion of CO2 by photo and/or electrocatalysis as they can enable high activity and selectivity, but also and especially high-value products (i.e. dimethoxy ethane (DME) or methanol (MeOH)). This research will be performed in the EnergyVille laboratories in Genk, in collaboration with imec and the University of Antwerp, Research group: Applied Electrochemistry & Catalysis. Besides being involved in the research and generation of scientific outputs, you are expected to actively participate in the educational and outreach tasks of the faculty of Engineering Technology.


  • You hold a master or engineering degree in physics, materials sciences, technology, chemistry (or equivalent)
    Final-year students are (likewise) encouraged to apply.
  • You are able to work independently and are eager to take initiative and responsibility.
  • You have the necessary qualities to function within an international team. Very good verbal and written communication skills in English are required.
  • International experience (Erasmus, internship abroad) is an asset.
  • You have a problem-solving attitude and a strong desire to stay up to date with recent developments.
  • Being acquainted with photo and/or electrocatalysis fundamentals is an asset.
  • You have knowledge of the field of electrochemistry and experience in the domain.
  • The research will be performed in collaboration with (and partly at) the University of Antwerp. Therefore, an (international) driver's license is an asset.
  • You have experience with experimental work.
  • Your are able to present research hypothesises, scientific discussions and results both verbally and in writing.
  • A first scientific publication is an asset;

You will be appointed and paid as PhD student.
Scholarship for a period of 2 x 2 years, after positive intermediate evaluation.

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