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Open Ph.D. position in the Group “Powder Diffraction and Surface Spectroscopy”

The Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr conducts basic chemical research aimed at making chemical transformations as energy and resource efficient as possible. Catalysis with all its facets is at the centre of the research.

For our research group “Powder Diffraction and Surface Spectroscopy” (PD. Dr. Claudia Weidenthaler) we are searching for a

Ph. D. student (m/f/d) in the field of “In situ characterization of inorganic catalysts for ammonia cracking”

in full time, 39 hours

limited in time to 3 years available from 01/10/2020.


•    Work in a research project on the characterization of inorganic catalysts for ammonia
•    Setup and modification of a test reactor for catalytic ammonia decomposition.
•    Application of ex situ and in situ scattering methods for the crystallographic characterization of catalysts under reaction conditions, data analysis by Rietveld refinements and PDF analysis.
•    Application of ex situ and in situ spectroscopic methods including Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.
•    Participating in experiments at synchrotron or neutron facilities.


•    Master Degree in Chemistry
•    Fundamental knowledge in inorganic chemistry is required
•    Advanced knowledge of powder diffraction methods, including Rietveld refinements,
and surface spectroscopy techniques are expected
•    Basic knowledge on gas adsorption, TPR, SEM, TG/DSC/MS, GC, etc. would be
•    Good experimental skills are required
•    Careful and accurate operation
•    Good English skills
•    Ability to work in a team, good communication skills

The Max Planck Society strives to ensure a workplace that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities irrespective of gender, nationality or disabilities of the applicants.

We are committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in our workforce and therefore encourage applications from such qualified individuals.

Please send your application (including cover letter, curriculum vitae and a copy of your Master certificate) as a PDF file via E-Mail to PD Dr. Claudia Weidenthaler,