PhD Candidate - Department of Applied Physics

WorkplaceFlemish Region, Ghent, Belgium
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You should have a master degree in one of the following fields: chemistry, physics, physical chemistry, material science, engineering physics, chemical engineering, material engineering, or equivalent.

Job description

The PLASyntH2 project granted in the framework of the Belgian Excellence of Science (EOS) program of FWO-FNRS is looking for 10 PhD candidates and 4 post-docs in the field of plasma chemistry, plasma technology or plasma physics.
PLASyntH2: Plasma-based green hydrogen synthesis from hydrocarbons Plasma-based H2 synthesis from hydrocarbons is an interesting complementary approach to water electrolysis, because it also uses renewable electricity and has no CO2 emission, and in addition, it can valorize CH4 and plastic waste, generate high value C-materials as side-product, and is thermodynamically more favorable. However, before exploiting this application, it is crucial to gain a better fundamental understanding of the plasma processes.
This is exactly addressed in our project. We will perform green H2 synthesis experiments from various hydrocarbons and in several plasma types, in gas-phase and in contact with liquids, and develop a multi-diagnostics platform for time- and spatially-resolved characterization, as well as novel multi-dimensional, multi-scale models, to study the underlying mechanisms in all plasma systems.
We will start with simple molecules, i.e., CH4 (gas-phase) and (m)ethanol (liquid-phase), and subsequently develop our methodologies to study H2 synthesis from alkenes (C3-C5 and higher) and styrene, as model systems for (both gas-phase and liquid-phase) pyrolysis products of plastic waste. Besides determining the H2 yield and energy consumption for all systems, and the detailed plasma diagnostics and modelling, we will also characterize the synthesized C, and target the latter as extra value-added product. The project outcomes will lay the basis for green H2 synthesis by plasma technology and will open up a new area in the field of plastic waste recycling.

PLASyntH2is a collaboration between the following PI’s and universities in Belgium:
o BOGAERTS Annemie, Coordinator - University of Antwerp (?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">
o DE GEYTER Nathalie - Ghent University (?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">
o MORENT Rino - Ghent University (?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">
o RENIERS François - Université Libre de Bruxelles ( ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> )
o SNYDERS Rony - University of Mons ( )

Job profile

  • You should have a master degree in one of the following fields: chemistry, physics, physical chemistry, material science, engineering physics, chemical engineering, material engineering, or equivalent.
  • Candidates graduating this summer are also encouraged to apply.
  • You should have excellent qualifications at bachelor and master levels.
  • You should have an independent and well-organized working style, demanding a high standard for your own work.
  • You should have well-developed social skills directed towards working in an interdisciplinary team as well as excellent interpersonal and communicative skills.
  • You should have very good to excellent English language skills (verbally and written.

We offer to PhD candidates

  • A full-time (100%) PhD candidate position as a bursary. The scholarship is initially offered for a period of one year and will be renewed up-to four years upon positive evaluation.
  • A competitive salary for doctoral students.
  • A challenging, versatile and carefully designed project.
  • A dynamic, multi-disciplinary and ambitious research consortium with a wide international network.
  • Full access to expertise, state-of-the-art research infrastructure and user training.
  • Access to a Doctoral Training Program.
  • An opportunity to earn the highest academic degree.
  • Envisaged starting date: as soon as possible.
  • All PhD candidates will work in two of the above-mentioned research groups, co-supervised by 2 PI’s, and will obtain a joint or double PhD diploma.

How to apply

Applications must contain the following documents in English:

  • Personal (motivation) letter
  • Curriculum vitae (an official proof of English language skills is an added value)
  • List of publications (if available)
  • Transcripts of B.Sc. and M.Sc. courses and grades
  • Copy of your diplomas (if already available)
  • Indication of your preference for experiments or modelling or a combination of both
  • Indication of your preference of university/research group where you want to apply (see websites above); PhD candidates should indicate two research groups or their preferred research topics
    The requested documents should be sent to Prof. dr. Annemie Bogaerts ( ) before February 28th, 2022, entering as subject of your mail: PLASyntH2_your name
In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 5146.