PhD Thesis Student ID01

Context & Job description

Among the many potential materials studied for the improvement of existing battery technologies, the cathode materials of current (Li-)ion-based concentrate most of the weight and costs and hence represent the crucial bottleneck for technological progress. Over the last twenty years, Co-free Li-rich layered high voltage materials have attracted attention for their potential to increase specific capacity while at the same time reducing costs. While most of the principle strengths and weaknesses are conceptually described, there remain significant knowledge gaps concerning the atomistic origin of limitations in rate and ageing processes, as they greatly vary as a function of synthesis recipe. Many of these problems are related to the nano & micro structures of these transition metal oxide crystals and despite the vast amount of studies and development of synthesis processes, the achieved progress is insufficient and trial and error based.

The beamline ID01’s mission is investigation of functional nanomaterials through coherent diffraction. We propose to investigate these materials using Bragg Coherent Diffraction Imaging (BCDI), supported and completed by speckle analysis & powder diffraction. These methods have been successfully applied to such microstructural questions e.g. in metallurgy. This will shed light on principal differences in the quality of ionic ordering in Li-rich materials during the production process and on the homogeneity of the de-lithiation process as a function of these properties. 

You will integrate a most experienced team working on the world’s most powerful source of coherent X-rays, applying unique techniques to great contemporary technical challenges.

Further information on the post can be obtained from Tobias Schulli (+33476882280, and/or Marie-Ingrid Richard (

Expected profile

  • Degree allowing enrolment for a PhD (such as MSc, Master 2 de Recherche, Laurea or equivalent) in Physics, Material Science or similar.
  • A strong background in computing science and programming will be an advantage
  • Soft skills (to be defined)
  • Proficiency in English (working language at the ESRF)

Working conditions

We offer a comprehensive benefits package designed to support your quality of life and your installation in the Grenoble area when relocation is needed.

The monthly salary may be complemented by additional allowances upon eligibility (expatriation allowance, etc...).

Company description

The European Synchrotron, the ESRF, is an international research centre based in Grenoble, France.

Through its innovative engineering, pioneering scientific vision and a strong commitment from its 700 staff members, the ESRF is recognised as one of the top research facilities worldwide. Its particle accelerator produces intense X-ray beams that are used by thousands of scientists each year for experiments in diverse fields such as biology, medicine, environmental sciences, cultural heritage, materials science, and physics.

Supported by 22 countries, the ESRF is an equal opportunity employer and encourages diversity.

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