PhD position - Lithium battery positive electrode material structure and function

Context & Job description

Project title: Effect of heteroatom doping on lithium battery positive electrode material structure and functionality

You will join ID01’s team at the ESRF. Beamline ID01 is an X-ray diffraction and scattering beamline devoted to the study of a wide variety of materials, from nanostructures to bulk, with the ability to perform imaging of strain and structure using full field diffraction imaging, coherent X-ray diffraction methods and/or nanodiffraction. Further measurements will be carried out at the high energy and powder diffraction beamlines ID31 and ID22 in collaboration with the beamline staff.

The aim of the D.Sc (equiv. PhD) project is to formulate, test and characterise novel lithium ion battery materials with a focus on the doping step during the synthesis of positive electrode materials. Structure – functionality relations will be elucidated for the effect of heteroatoms on the structure and electrochemical behaviour. Electrochemical properties will be investigated and characterisation will include a variety of X-ray techniques such as high-energy XRD and EXAFS.

Further information may be obtained from Dr. Tobias Schulli (tel.: +33 476 88 22 80, email: or from Prof. Tanja Kallio (+358 50 5637 567, email: and from Dr. Samuli Räsänen (+358 50 387 0864, email:

Expected profile

  • Degree allowing enrolment for a D.Sc in chemistry (such as MSc, Master 2 de Recherche, Laurea or equivalent) in materials science, physics, chemistry or a closely related science.
  • A background in experimentation is desirable, and knowledge of diffraction techniques, programming skills and eventually electrochemistry would be an advantage
  • Practical skills and rigorous attention to detail are essential in this work environment
  • Proficiency in English  (A proof of upper-intermediate level would be advantageous and can be provided in the application. Applicants originating from native-English-speaking countries can apply without the need for proof of level. An official degree conducted in English will be also accepted as a proof; Students without proof upper-intermediate level may still apply and their level of English will be checked during the interview.)
  • Compliance with the Marie Sklodowska-Curie mobility rule: candidates may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than twelve months in the three years immediately before the date of recruitment.
  • At the date of recruitment, early-stage researchers must be in the first four years of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Candidates must satisfy the conditions for enrollment in a doctoral programme at Aalto University.

More details about the application procedure on and on the doctoral student requirements at the Aalto University on

Working conditions

The successful candidate will be enrolled in the doctoral school at Aalto University (Finland) and will be based full-time at the ESRF (Grenoble, France) for 36 months, including a 3-month secondment to Umicore Finland Oy (Kokkola, Finland). Additional visits totaling no more than 3 months during this period may be made to Aalto University when needed. Furthermore, a varied pedagogical training programme will be offered to the successful candidate throughout the D.Sc. project of duration 3 to 4 years (36 months employed by ESRF, Grenoble; with up to 7 additional months based at Aalto University and funded by Aalto University and subject to a separate agreement with the university). The duration of funding from Aalto University is date limited (within year 2020) and dependent on the availability of the chosen candidate.

More details on the InnovaXN programme on

Company description

InnovaXN is a Horizon 2020 MSCA COFUND programme providing an opportunity for 40 industrial companies to work with 40 PhD students, performing advanced research and exploiting the unique characterisation techniques of the ESRF and ILL. Through collaborations with industry, innovation will be the central theme of the programme. This will provide a unique cross academic-industry science setting, secondment opportunities and society-relevant research, training the future key researchers able to tackle major research and societal challenges.

The equal opportunity policies of the ESRF and ILL have been in place for many years. These policies focus on gender balance, cultural diversity and inclusion of disabled staff.

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