PhD position on development and analysis of functionalized NiO photocathodes for CO2 reduction

Job description

This project is a bilateral collaboration between the University of Amsterdam and the University of Twente, focused on the development of an efficient, selective, stable and economically feasible functionalized NiO photocathode for the reduction of CO2 and protons. The aim is to bridge the gap between the typical time scale of charge separation (ns) and catalysis (ms-s), which is a major challenge in photocatalysis.

Novel photosensitizers and catalysts will be developed at the University of Amsterdam in the group of Prof. Joost Reek. The PhD student at the University of Twente will prepare the NiO template with controlled dopants and nanomorphology, functionalize this with the new photosensitizers and the catalysts developed in Amsterdam, and pursue photodynamical and –catalytic studies. The entire light-induced fuel evolution process will be characterized by advanced ultrafast electronic, vibrational and x-ray spectroscopy under in-situ conditions with the aim to develop fundamental insight into the nature of intermediate species formed, the role of the environment and factors that govern the selectivity.

The project is financed by the Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC) and executed in close collaboration with Shell. You will carry out the research at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, under supervision of Prof. Guido Mul. The ultrafast spectroscopy studies will be supervised by Dr. Annemarie Huijser. Teaching activities will take ca. 10%-20% of your time

Your profile


  • You are highly motivated and an enthusiastic researcher (F/M).
  • You have a MSc degree in Chemistry or Physics or equivalent, with excellent experimental skills.
  • You have a keen interest in bridging Chemistry and Physics.
  • You have strong analytical skills and a keen interest in the interpretation of complex data.
  • You are fluent in English.

Information and application

Please send your application including an application/motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation to apply for this position, a detailed CV, contact details of at least 2 referees, an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education and a TOEFL or IELTS score to verify sufficient mastering of the English language. An interview will be part of the selection procedure.

Application can be done via :!/389377/phd-position-on-development-and-analysis-of-functionalized-nio-photocathodes-for-co2-reduction

Our offer

You will be appointed on a fulltime position for 4 years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating scientific environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues. Salary and conditions are in accordance with the collective labor agreement for Dutch universities.

  • Salary ranging from € 2.266- gross at the start to € 2.897,- gross in the 4th year.
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3% and a solid pension scheme.
  • A training program in which you and your supervisors will make up a plan for additional suitable education and supervision.
  • As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the Twente Graduate School.
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, but also stimulate interaction and  discussion with colleagues.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research. 

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and 2000 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes MESA+ and MIRA. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.