PhD or Postdoctoral Position (m/f/d) | Interfacial water dissociation and water formation

Young Researchers Berlin
Chemistry Solid State Research & Material Sciences Particle, Plasma and Quantum Physics
Job Offer from September 28, 2022

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 looking for a PhD or postdoctoral student (m/f/d) for the Interfacial Ionics group at the Department of Interface Science.

Project: Interfacial Water Dissociation and Water Formation

Interfacial water dissociation is important for many electrocatalytic reactions, in particular for producing green hydrogen in alkaline conditions where the concentration of free protons is very low (2 H2O + 2e- à H2 + 2OH-). Furthermore, water dissociation can serve as ionic test reaction to study the impact of interfacial water ordering and acid base chemistry on interfacial ionics in general.

The selected candidate will be joining this new research direction that is being established within the ISC department. Your main goal will be to fundamentally improve our understanding of operando water dissociation and water formation during electrocatalysis using novel experimental approaches. Simultaneously, you will also explore new applications.

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

The PhD candidate is expected to graduate after three years.


We expect candidates to have a:

  • A MSc or PhD degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics or Physical Chemistry, preferably with a specialization in Electrochemistry
  • A strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals for postdoc applicants
  • Experience at performing complex electrochemistry experiments with a high drive to solve scientific and practical/instrumental challenges independently
  • Experience working with Multiphysics simulations (e.g. COMSOL) is preferred
  • Excellent English skills


Submit your application via our online application portal as soon as possible but latest by March 31, 2023 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

Max Planck Society

The Max-Planck-Gesellschaft endeavours to achieve gender equality and diversity. Furthermore the Max Planck Society aims to increase the participation of women in research. Therefore, applications by women are particularly welcome. The Max Planck Society is also committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.


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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