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Postdoctoral Researcher in Next Generation Batteries
Employer: imec
Location: Leuven, Belgium
Employment Start Date: As soon as possible

Organization Description:

Imec performs world-leading research in nano-electronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven (Belgium) and has offices in the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, Japan and India. Its staff of more than 2,000 people includes over 550 industrial residents and guest researchers.

Job Description:

Lithium ion batteries (LIB) capture about 70% of the portable electronics market and will gradually replace the nickel-metal hydride batteries in hybrid electrical vehicles (HEV). The energy and power density of existing battery technology is however not sufficient for economically viable fully battery operated vehicles (EV). Also, as personal electronic devices become smarter but smaller at the same time, the demand for more powerful batteries with smaller volumes grows. In many devices the battery already takes up most of the available space. The issue is even more imperative for microsystems where battery power is needed for autonomous operations in e.g. wireless sensor networks (WSN), body area networks (BAN) and medical implants. Therefore, innovations in battery technology are desperately needed and the inclination towards disruptive technologies grows.

Job description

The main focus of battery research typically lays in material innovation; i.e. search for novel chemistries, improvements in design through nanotechnology and optimization of the liquid electrolyte chemistry. However, battery issues such as limited lifetime and slow charging rate are related to poorly controlled interfaces and to the use of liquid electrolytes. Solid electrolytes are being explored to replace the flammable liquid electrolyte. Next to solving the issues with safety, the transition to a solid-state electrolyte would mean significant improvements in the battery performance as well: higher energy density, longer battery life time and wider temperature range of operation. Also, solid-state batteries are of interest for large static storage units for the power grid, as mobile power sources in vehicles as well as invisible microbatteries for e.g. implants. Indeed, this concept allows direct integration with microsystems such sensors or implants. For these micro-batteries CMOS materials and processing can be (re)used.

We are looking for post-docs with a background in materials science, electrochemistry, solid-state physics or equivalent to join the energy storage team at imec. A key component for success is the development of solid Li-ion electrolytes with high ion conductivity. This includes work on synthesis, characterization and integration. The state-of-the-art nanofabrication and characterization facilities of imec are at the disposal for the researcher. Understanding and control of different phases e.g. at grain boundaries, the effect of in-diffusion during synthesis and battery operation, and the nature of charge transfer over the electrode/electrolyte interfaces will enable the much needed enhancement of the battery performance. The type of work to be expected is experimental and characterization.



  • You have a PhD degree in the area of Chemistry, Physics or Materials Engineering preferably with a background in electrochemistry or solid state physics.
  • Practical experiences in the area of materials synthesis and characterization.
  • You have good communication skills since you will work in a multicultural environment, and you are fluent in English.
  • You are able to solve problems independently.
  • You take initiative and have innovative ideas.
  • You act as a real team player towards your internal and external partners.
  • You are an ambitious and motivated team player with good communication and reporting skills.

This postdoctoral position is funded by imec through the KU Leuven. Because of the specific financing statute which targets international mobility for postdocs, only candidates who did not obtain their PhD degree from a Belgian university can be considered for the position. Applicants who stayed or worked/studied in Belgium for more than 24 months in the past 3 years are not eligible either (short stays such as holiday, participation in conferences, etc are not taken into account).

We offer

We offer a challenging position for 2 years in an advanced high-tech environment and in an international, interdisciplinary team. Further, we offer the opportunity to contribute to technologies that will have an impact on the society of tomorrow. The salary is competitive. Furthermore, imec offers various training possibilities and social services, such as a company restaurant, the possibility of day care, and discounts in different sport clubs and shops.



Job Application:

Apply online at including your curriculum vitae, publication list and contact details of at least one referee.

Date Posted: September 14, 2012