Research Assistant / Associate in Proton Exchange and Diffusion
Imperial College London Department of Materials
United Kingdom

Job summary

This post is part of a large consortium funded by the EU under the FETPROACT programme and is focused on Breakthrough Zero-Emissions Heat Generation with Hydrogen-metal Systems (HERMES). Within the consortium there are teams based in Finland, Germany, France, Ireland, the Czech Republic and the UK. The overall programme aims to explore nanostructured metal-hydrogen systems as a route to zero emissions heat generation. One central aspect of...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG01460
  • Date posted 4 November 2020
  • Closing date 6 December 2020

Key information about the role

  • Location South Kensington and White City Campus (map)
  • Position type Full time, fixed term
  • Salary £35,477 – £47,579 plus benefits
  • Department Department of Materials
  • Category Researcher / Non Clinical Researcher

Job description

Job summary

This post is part of a large consortium funded by the EU under the FETPROACT programme and is focused on Breakthrough Zero-Emissions Heat Generation with Hydrogen-metal Systems (HERMES). Within the consortium there are teams based in Finland, Germany, France, Ireland, the Czech Republic and the UK. The overall programme aims to explore nanostructured metal-hydrogen systems as a route to zero emissions heat generation. One central aspect of this programme is the focus on high temperature proton conductive solid oxides as a separation membrane that makes use of a Pd-D electrode reaction. We will undertake measurements on ceramic samples that have undergone isotopic labelling experiments to probe the surface exchange and diffusion of protonic species. This will involve using a range of labels, including D2O, combined with annealing processes to provide equilibrium surface exchange kinetics and knowledge of ion transport processes, including probing bulk vs grain boundary mobility. Measurements of the kinetics will be undertaken using state-of-the-art surface analysis techniques including secondary ion mass spectrometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and ion scattering spectroscopy. Initial ex-situ experiments will be performed to determine the equilibrium kinetics and will be followed with the development of in-situ measurements to inform on the processes occurring at ceramic:metal and metal:metal interfaces, with depth resolution of only 2-5nm.  

Duties and responsibilities

Key Responsibilities

Research:

  • Preparation of ceramic samples and structures in bulk and thin film morphology
  • Characterisation of the structure of the relevant interfaces using appropriate experimental techniques.
  • Undertake isotopic exchange experiments to characterise kinetics of surface exchange and diffusion
  • Undertake all associated data analysis and interpretation of data
  • Liaise with consortium members and undertake collaborative work where relevant with external partners
  • Attend regular consortia meetings and provide all relevant materials (reports, presentations, data) in a timely way
  • Assist the other research staff in the day-to-day management of the electroceramic group laboratories
  • To liaise with other research staff and students working in broad areas of relevance to the research project
  • To write annual progress reports and prepare results for publication and dissemination via journals, presentations and the web
  • To attend progress and management meetings as required and network with other research groups
  • To attend relevant workshops and conferences as necessary.

Essential requirements

Candidates/post holders will be expected to demonstrate the following:

Qualifications:

  • Research Assistant, near completion of PhD (or equivalent) in physics, chemistry or materials science and engineering.
  • Research Associate hold a PhD* (or equivalent) in chemistry, physics or materials science and engineering focused on high temperature ceramic materials.

Experience:

  • Demonstrated experience of appropriate data analysis techniques
  • Experience of synthesis and characterisation of high quality materials suitable for surface analytical experiments
  • Experience of organisation of project meetings and laboratory management
  • Supervision of research students
  • General background of defect chemistry
  • Experience of setting up and running an electromotive force (emf) system for ceramic samples
  • Experience of multiscale materials modelling
  • Experience of electron microscopy
  • Experience of low energy ion scattering
  • Experience of vacuum systems operation and maintenance

Knowledge:

  • Knowledge and experience of fabricating solid state nanomaterials, including thin films and bulk ceramics
  • Knowledge and experience of isotopic exchange experiments
  • Knowledge and experience of materials characterisation techniques including Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD).
  • Knowledge of proton conducting ceramic materials
  • Background knowledge of solid state ionics

Further information

**Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £35,477- £38,566 per annum.

For additional information please contact: Professor Stephen Skinner, s.skinner@imperial.ac.uk

Further guidance may be sought from Mrs Darakshan Khan (d.khan@imperial.ac.uk).

For technical issues when applying online please email recruitment@imperial.ac.uk.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.


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