PhD scholarship in Metal-Organic Frameworks-incorporated Micro-Architectured Stereolithography-derived Supercapacitors – DTU Nanolab

16. september 2023

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  • Udsendt dato
    16. september 2023
  • Udløbsdato
    10. oktober 2023
  • Karriereniveau
    Alm. fastansættelse

Job beskrivelse

If you are establishing your career as a scientist and seeking the optimal bedrock upon which to actualize your aspirations and goals, rest assured that the ideal foundation lies right before you. Are you an engineer motivated by challenging tasks in micro- and nanofabrication? We are looking for a skilled PhD candidate to develop MOF-incorporated micro-supercapacitors, as a part of MOF-MASS/LithoMOFcap projects, which is funded by DTU Alliance PhD stipend Grant. The overall vision of MOF-MASS project is to foster an interdisciplinary environment that integrates four distinct fields: (i) micro- and nanofabrication, (ii) materials characterization, (iii) organometallic and coordination chemistry, and (iv) sustainable electrochemical energy storage (EES). 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 sustainable energy, drug delivery, and bioelectrochemistry. In addition, we have established a scientific partnership with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) for an almost identical research project called ‘litoMOFcap.’ This collaboration allows you (as Ph.D.-DTU) and the second student at TUM (Ph.D.-TUM) to work closely together in both projects (‘lithoMOFcap’ and ‘MOF-MASS’). As a part of the project, it is expected that you spend at least 6 months of your Ph.D. at TUM to improve your knowledge and experience on different hydrothermal and electrochemical methods to synthesize rationally designed MOF materials for EES. 

Responsibilities and qualifications

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. Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) have proven to be exceptional materials to boost the energy and power density of SCs. These materials are excellent precursors to obtain precisely controllable metal oxides (MO), sulfides, and phosphides, homogeneously distributed in an electrically conducting super-porous carbon matrix through a pyrolysis process.

Besides the type of materials, the overall performance of the SCs is also largely dependent on the morphology and architecture of the electrodes. To meet high-performance indicators of SCs, the electrode materials must possess high accessible surface area, well-defined hierarchical porosity, tailored functionalities, high electrical conductivity, and physical/chemical stability in extreme pH regimes. In this context, the utilization of permeable three-dimensional (3D) micro-architectures incorporated with active materials provides several advantages, including reduced ion diffusion length, enhanced charge-discharge rate capability, increased loading of the active materials within the 3D structure, and increased energy density. The overall aim of the MOF-MASS project is to develop a first-ever, cost-effective, high-performance and long-lasting SC device from MOF-incorporated additive manufacturing-derived 3D MO/carbon nanocomposite electrodes. Therefore, your primary tasks will be:

  • Plan and execute experimental research in the DTU Nanolab (PolyFabLab) facilities. 
  • Establishing different chemical and electrochemical methods for the synthesis of rationally designed MOF systems.
  • Determination of optimal MOF/photopolymer composition and pyrolysis conditions to achieve hierarchically porous MOF-derived (multi)MO/carbon electrodes.
  • Physicochemical and electrochemical characterization of the developed electrodes.
  • Assembling different symmetric and asymmetric SC devices.
  • 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, chemical 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 chemical and electrochemical synthesis and methods for characterization of nanomaterials. Preferably, you have worked with micro- and nanofabrication techniques and electrochemical energy storages devices. 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 DTU’s rules for the PhD education


The assessment of the applicants will be made by Assistant Prof. Babak Rezaei and Prof. Stephan Sylvest Keller (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 and expected start date is 1 March 2024.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Assistant Prof. Babak Rezaei, [email protected]
. 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
. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar
” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure 

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 10 October 2023 (23:59 Danish time)
. Applications must be submitted as one PDF file
containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link Apply now, 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 (in English) including official description of grading scale

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 mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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