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Development of noble metal clusters / nanoparticles and their integration into model catalysts for emission control

Organizational unit

Institute of Catalysis Research und Technology (IKFT)

Job description

Supported metal nanoparticles represent very active and selective catalyst materials that are of great industrial importance. The size, oxidation state, composition and morphology of the noble metal particles as well as their synergy with the support material determine their catalytic performance. In your PhD thesis, you will develop new, size-selective synthesis routes for the preparation of defined, mono- and bimetallic noble metal clusters and nanoparticles to understand the critical influence of the above parameters on the catalytic properties. You will then anchor these clusters/nanoparticles homogeneously distributed on a metal oxide support (e.g. Al2O3, TiO2, CeO2) to obtain powder catalysts with defined structural characteristics. The structural characteristics of the clusters/nanoparticles and powder catalysts will be determined using modern analytical techniques such as X-ray diffraction, dynamic light scattering and electron microscopy, etc. Finally, you will evaluate the catalytic properties in NO and CO oxidation in close collaboration with the Exhaust Gas Center Karlsruhe.

Your PhD thesis will be carried out at the Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology in the group of Prof. Dr. Silke Behrens. The PhD thesis is embedded in the Collaborative Research Center CRC 1441 "TrackAct" ("Tracking the Active Site in Heterogeneous Catalysis",, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). In this CRC1441, more than 40 scientists are working together using different experimental and theoretical approaches to understand the behavior and special properties of noble metal catalysts in emission control - from the atomic scale to the application in combustion engines.

Your responsibilities:

- Development of novel syntheses for well-defined noble metal clusters and nanoparticles

- Anchoring of the clusters and nanoparticles on metal oxide supports

- In-depth structural characterization of the clusters/nanoparticles and powder catalysts

- Evaluation of data, preparation of reports and publications

- Supervision of students.

Starting date


Personal qualification

You should have a very good Master's degree (Diploma (Uni) / Master) in chemistry or materials science with excellent knowledge in materials synthesis as well as knowledge in catalysis and technical chemistry. A high degree of motivation, the willingness to work independently and the ability to work in a team as well as excellent knowledge of the English and preferably also the German language are also expected.

Contract duration

limited to 3 years

Application up to


Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Behrens, phone 0721 608-26512 (

Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number 04-2021.

Ausschreibungsnummer: 04-2021

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.


Personnel Support is provided by:
Mr Gehringer
Phone: +49 721 608-25004,

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