DIFFER is the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research, one of the nine research institutes of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
The institute focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to energy research, combining physics, chemistry, engineering and materials science.
DIFFER's research takes place in two main themes : Solar Fuels for the conversion and storage of renewable energy and Fusion Energy as a clean and unlimited source of energy.
DIFFER develops and supports a national network on fundamental energy research and collaborates closely with the academic community and industrial partners.
Postdoc position : activation of the reverse Boudouard reaction
This position is part of a recently granted NWO project, entitled CO2SPARE, which is aimed at the valorisation of CO2 in biogas.
This project is executed jointly with the Non-equilibrium Fuel Conversion (NFC) group of DIFFER. It entails fundamental studies of the reverse Boudouard reaction, in support of an overall process involving pyrolysis of methane follows by reaction of CO2 with the carbon thus formed.
In addition to this Post-doc position, the project encompasses two PhD positions, one on plasma-driven reverse Boudouard reaction and one on heat recirculation in a thermal plasma.
Scientific aim :
One of the central objectives of CO2SPARE is to utilize non-equilibrium plasma to excite CO2 in order to enhance the production of CO via the reverse Boudouard reaction (CO2 + C ->
2CO). This post-doc position is intended for the study of fundamental aspects of how excitation of the molecular modes of CO2 alters its reactivity towards carbon.
Studies are to be performed under highly-controlled conditions (ultra-high vacuum) using graphite as a model carbon sample.
This work will directly complement the PhD position that will study the reverse Boudouard reaction under more applied plasma environments.
Responsibilities and tasks :
The primary responsibility will be reconfiguration, where necessary, and operation of existing ultra-high vacuum equipment in order to execute fundamental molecule-
surface reactivity studies as outlined in the CO2SPARE proposal document. Close coordination (including in some instances daily support / supervision) with the PhD student that will be hired as part of this project is expected.
This relates in particular to the PhD student that will study applied plasma-activation of the reverse Boudouard reaction.
We seek enthusiastic and highly talented candidates that are willing to work in an international and interdisciplinary team of physicists and chemists.
The applicant should hold, or be close to completing, a relevant PhD degree as a physicist, chemist, or materials scientist.
Good verbal and written communication skills in English, and the ability to work well, both individually and as the member of a team, are required.
Practical experience in one or more of the following areas is highly advantageous : the handling and operation of ultra-
high vacuum equipment, vacuum-based surface science experiments, surface reactivity studies, and methods of molecular excitation.