Postdoctoral Position | Interfacial Ionics | Operando Electrocatalyst Characterization

Scientist Berlin
Chemistry Solid State Research & Material Sciences Particle, Plasma and Quantum Physics
Job Offer from November 26, 2021

The Department of Interface Science 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 (m/f/d) for the Interfacial Ionics group at the Department of Interface Science.

Project: Operando Electrocatalyst Characterization

Splitting water with active and stable electrocatalysts is of central importance for the green hydrogen economy. However, electrocatalyst surfaces are undergoing dynamic changes, including formation of amorphous and disordered oxyhydroxide phases. Understanding such dynamic changes is important for developing a better mechanistic understanding and eventually design and synthesize better catalysts.

The selected candidate will be conducting operando spectroscopy and microscopy studies on water splitting nanoparticle and thin film model catalysts that will be prepared in-house or received from external collaborators. In particular, effects of driving different reactions on the same reversible catalyst will be studied. To that end, operando X-ray spectroscopy at various synchrotrons, such as BESSY II in Berlin and DESY in Hamburg, will be performed. Furthermore, operando ATR-IR und Raman will be used to obtain mechanistic insights on model thin film surfaces. The candidate will collaborate closely with other members of the Interface Science Department.

The PostDoc position is initially for one year but can be extended up to three years.


We expect candidates to have a:

  • A PhD degree in Chemistry, Physics, Physical Chemistry or Chemical Engineering preferably with a specialization in Electrochemistry.
  • A strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Experience with synchrotron-based operando X-ray spectroscopy and/or with operando ATR-IR and Raman.
  • Experience at performing complex electrochemistry experiments.
  • High drive to solve scientific and practical/instrumental challenges independently.
  • Collaborative spirit and excellent English skills.


Submit your application via our online application portal as soon as possible but latest by February 28, 2022 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 Institute
Faradayweg 4-6
14195 Berlin

We thank all applicants for their interest. However, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.

Max Planck Society

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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