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Academic Employee/PhD Student (f/m/d) (75%)
Promotional topic: Tracking the active site in heterogeneous catalysts with spatio-temporal spectroscopic methods

Organizational unit

Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry (ITCP)

Job description

The advertised PhD position focusses on the operando spectroscopic investigation of noble metal and nano alloy particles on ceria and alumina. The goal is to develop spatially and temporally resolved characterization tools and to derive structure-activity relationships for these relevant catalytic systems used in emission control. The goal is to investigate technically relevant and structured catalysts (e.g. layers/channels) with in situ/operando spectroscopy based on X-ray absorption spectroscopy and new photon-in/photon-out techniques at synchrotron radiation facilities, including our beamline Cat-Act at KIT’s synchrotron KARA. Together with KIT partners and external project partners, novel reactors for combined spatially resolved activity and structure elucidation will be developed.

The materials and cells will be investigated with respect to oxidation activity at the Karlsruhe Exhaust Gas Center (, which is equipped with modern test rigs and a wide range of characterization techniques.

The project is part of a recently granted “Sonderforschungsbereich“ (Collaborative Research Centre - CRC). In the CRC1441 “TrackAct” (“Tracking the Active Site in Heterogeneous Catalysis for Emission Control”, over 40 scientists – mainly at KIT – work together using synthetic, spectroscopic, engineering and theoretical approaches to understand supported noble metal catalysts for emission control from the atomic scale up to the application. You will therefore work in a multidisciplinary and international environment. In a graduate school, you will have the opportunity to get acquainted with a very broad spectrum from physics to chemistry and chemical engineering. The position will especially involve the use of synchrotron radiation. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to perform experiments at world-leading large-scale facilities (such as PETRA III, ESRF, SOLEIL, SLS, KARA).

Starting date

zum nächstmöglichen Zeitpunkt/as soon as possible

Personal qualification

You should have:

  • Completed very successfully a scientific degree (Master) in Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering or Materials Science.
  • Knowledge in physical and technical chemistry.
  • Good knowledge in catalysis, material synthesis and spectroscopy.
  • A strong ability to work cooperatively with internal and external project partners.
  • A high level of teamwork, motivation and the willingness to contribute to the team with your own abilities.
  • Very good English and, if possible, German language skills.
  • A driving license valid in Europe is welcome.


Salary category 13, depending on the fulfillment of professional and personal requirements.

Contract duration

limited to three years

Application up to


Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt, phone +49 721/608-42120 (

Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number 1010/2021.

Ausschreibungsnummer: 1010/2021

We prefer to balance the number of employees (f/m/d). Therefore we kindly ask female applicants to apply for this job.
Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.


Personnel Support is provided by:
Ms Brückner
Phone: +49 721 608-42016,

Kaiserstr. 12, 76131 Karlsruhe