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Vacancy No. 27-2019/IAM-ESS

PhD Position (m/f/x): Investigation of PVDF binders for the manufacturing of electrodes for lithium ion batteries

Job description

Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) is a highly non-reactive thermoplastic fluoropolymer used in applications needing the highest purity, as well as excellent electrochemical, chemical and thermal stability. In lithium ion batteries, PVDF is added as binder that glues the electrode particles together and connects them to the current collector. Beside the adhesive function, the binder has to fulfill additional tasks e.g. as an effective dispersion agent. It can therefore be considered as a key component that has significant impact on the performance of the battery. Nevertheless, the potential of PVDF is not yet fully exploited. Functionalization of the polymer and a better understanding of the interactions with other electrode components can open up new perspectives to serve as a standard additive for recent applications and for future generations of battery concepts too.

The goal of the thesis is to gain an improved understanding of the interactions of PVDF binders with active materials and other electrode additives. Special emphasis will be given on the identification and controlling of the binder distribution in the electrode components. Further tasks comprise the investigation of the adhesion properties and the determination of the mechanical behavior. Current trends in electrode materials, such as silicon-containing anodes, will be investigated in the same way as new electrode concepts based on post-lithium systems.

We offer you the opportunity to complete the promotion within three years. During this time, you will work in an interdisciplinary working group and you will have access to the excellent research infrastructure and experimental facilities at KIT. The work will be performed in cooperation with Arkema, a French global chemistry company among worldwide leader for high-performance materials, including for batteries, giving you good insights into the industrial aspects of electrode production too.

Personal qualification

You have a university degree (Diploma (Uni) / Master) in materials science, chemistry or process engineering. Experience in the field of processing of ceramic materials is desirable, additional knowledge in the field of electrochemistry of advantage.

Organizational unit

Institute for Applied Materials - Energy Storage Systems (IAM-ESS)

Starting date


Contract duration

3 years

Application up to

Oct 18, .2019

Contract Person in line Management

For further information, please contact Dr. Werner Bauer, e-mail:  werner.bauer@kit.edu / phone +49 721 608 22990.


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number 27-2019/IAM-ESS.
Personnel Support is provided by

Ms Meinel
Telefon: +49 721 608-25029,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

If qualified, severely disabled persons will be preferred.


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