Postdoc position on Lithium, Sulfur Batteries, materials science, electrochemistry, Solar energy (France)

We are looking for a highly motivated scientist who must have obtained a PhD with a strong background in materials science, electrochemistry and in electrochemical storage systems such as for instance Li batteries. The different aspects of the research deal with confined ionic liquids and Li batteries.A background, in the different experimental techniques for materials synthesis (sol‐gel), in physical chemistry (FTIR, Raman, UV,impedance spectroscopy…), in ionic liquids, as well as knowledge of the methods for materials morphological, textural and microstructural characterization and battery tests will be highly appreciated. The candidate must further possess abilities for writing english scientific publications and communications.

If the Li‐ion battery technology dominates the market for portable electronics since the 90s, research has recently been boosted, with the emerging electric vehicles (EV) which should in fine represents about 15 % of the market. After almost 20 years of work, the scope for further improvement in terms of energy density of Li‐ion batteries is only a factor of 2 and such batteries limit the range of electric vehicles to about 300 km. New systems showing greater energy density are urging to appear. In this goal the present project aims at developing the future Li/sulfur battery technology to power EV.

Such batteries are capable of delivering 2,500 Wh / kg ( 2800Wh / l) that is about 5 times more energy that present Li‐ion ones. Despite this great potential, the actual performances of Li/S system are still very limited especially regarding the cycling performance that remains below the industrial objectives. The major concerns deals with the dissolution of the active material in the form of polysulfides (Ps) in the electrolyte as well as the stability of the Li/electrolyte interface. Ps diffuse out of the electrode and react on the negative Li electrode forming redox shuttle and decomposition products.

 To address these issues, we will explore innovative solutions to prevent the diffusion of the Ps out of the electrode and stabilize the Li interface. This work will be conducted in collaboration with two industrial groups.

Domain Lithium, Sulfur Batteries, materials science, electrochemistry, Solar
Closing date Not mentioned
Contact Dr. J. Gaubicher Email

and Prof. J. Le Bideau (

Institut des Matériaux Jean Rouxel (IMN), Nantes


Required Scientific level:                              PhD in relevant theme

How to apply  send your application to the supervisor

Supervisors: Dr. J. Gaubicher Email

and Prof. J. Le Bideau (

Closing date     NOT Mentioned

Localization: Institut des Matériaux Jean Rouxel (IMN), Nantes, France Equipe Stockage et Transformation Electrochimique de l’Energie – Equipe de Physique des Matériaux et des nanostructures

Duration of the contract: 10 months contract starting in 2015

Net salary: 1800‐2350 euros/month depending on work experience

Created in 1988 by the internationally renowned French chemist Jean Rouxel, the Institute of Materials has become one of the main materials research centers in France. Its activity deals with the design, development and improvement of new materials and key materials processes in diverse areas of high technology. The Institute now contains more than 130 researchers (chemists, physicists, materials engineers from both the CNRS and University of Nantes), administrative and technical support staff, and 90 contracted staff within research.

Via the conception and characterization of new materials, the laboratory works towards the optimization of a wide range of materials properties. These properties are designed, tailored and tuned for various applications including photovoltaic (solar) cells, fuel cells, batteries for electric vehicles, nanotechnology as well as materials for computer memory, photonics and optics.

The Institute of Materials Jean Rouxel draws its strength from the convergence of diverse expertise of its staff. This competence is currently grouped within six research groups, primarily focused around specific applications or groups of associated materials: Solar energy conversion and storage, Physics of Materials and Nanostructures, Plasmas and thin films, Electrochemical storage and conversion of energy, Inorganic materials for optics and storage, and Material engineering and metallurgy.

These research thematics are reflected in the large number of institutional and industrial collaborations (Renault, St Gobain, Batscap, Total, STMicroelectronics, DCNS, Safran). The laboratory is also a partner in six large scale regional infrastructure projects for the future. These include the IRT Jules Verne, a centre developing an integrated policy of research, training and commercialisation at the highest scientific and technological level.