1 Postdoctoral Position (f/m/d) | Electrochemical Ammonia Oxidation

Scientist Berlin
Chemistry Solid State Research & Material Sciences Particle, Plasma and Quantum Physics

Job Code:

Job Offer from March 19, 2021

The Department of Interface Science www.fhi.mpg.de/isc-department headed by Prof. Beatriz Roldán Cuenya at the Fritz Haber Institute carries out cutting-edge research on advanced functional materials with applications in heterogeneous catalysis, energy conversion and electrochemistry. By combining unique synthesis methods, state-of-the art tools for experimental characterization and advanced approaches to data analysis, atomistic details of thermal catalysis and electrochemical reactions at gas/solid and liquid/solid interfaces are revealed. In particular, structure-reactivity correlations on nanostructured materials can be established, paving the way for the rational design of novel catalytic materials.

We are currently looking for a postdoctoral researcher (f/m/d) for the electrochemistry group at the Department of Interface Science.

 Project: Electrochemical Ammonia Oxidation: A way to obtain industrially-valuable chemicals?

The Haber-Bosch process uses elevated pressures, temperatures and iron-containing catalysts to fixate nitrogen with the help of hydrogen into NH3 – the key ingredient of fertilizers, transferring nitrogen from the air into our soils. If the required H2 could be produced via CO2-neutral steam reforming or water electrolysis, ammonia would expand its role from being a chemical carrier of nitrogen to transporting and storing green hydrogen. Reversing the Haber-Bosch process, the hydrogen could be released from NH3 sustainably via ammonia fuel cells and the electrochemical ammonia oxidation reaction (AOR) could also lead other valuable products of industrial interest. Past studies have largely focused on the exact AOR mechanism and competing catalyst deactivation pathways on noble metal surfaces for the production of H2. However, NH3 is also an important ingredient in the chemical industry to produce other key molecules. So far, no focused efforts have been undertaken to use the electrochemical AOR for direct and sustainable conversion of NH3 into feedstocks for the chemical industry.

Within this two-year project, you will study the electrochemical AOR with the goal of hydroxylamine (H2NOH) formation in cooperation with BasCat, the UniCat BASF JointLab.

The PostDoc position is initially limited to two years.


We expect candidates to have a:

  • PhD degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Physics, preferentially with a specialization in Electrochemistry,
  • strong publication record,
  • strong experimental background, proven skills to work in a complex laboratory independently.


 Please submit your application via our online application portal as soon as possible, at latest by June 30, 2021 including the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • List of publications
  • Names and email addresses of three references

For more information, please contact

Dr. Sebastian Oener

Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Faradayweg 4-6
14195 Berlin

The Max Planck Society aims to increase the participation of women in research. Therefore, applications by women are particularly welcome. Handicapped individuals are especially encouraged to apply. These applicants will be given priority in the case of same qualifications.

We handle applications electronically, observing the German data privacy laws. By sending the application, the applicant declares his or her consent.


The Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) is located in the quiet south-west of Gemany’s capital Berlin, which is a large, tolerant and cosmopolitan city. Berlin offers a wide variety of culture, art, music, and outdoor opportunities.

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