Postdoc: High-throughput approaches for the development of proton-conducting fuel cells

Oct 11, 2020
Nov 09, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) produce electricity and heat from H2. SOFCs operate at high temperature, typically 600-800°C, which coupled to extreme operation conditions lead to fast degradation. To increase performance, research efforts have targeted new electrolyte/electrode materials with enhanced conductivity and electrochemical activity1,2. Approaches allowing a fast screening of compositions may provide efficient tools for faster development of efficient cells. Though, in the field of SOFCs, the high-throughput experimental approach is really at its infancy. IREC (Barcelona, Spain) performed very original combinatorial deposition of SOFC electrode materials and succeeded in extracting fundamental parameters like conductivity, oxygen diffusion and exchange coefficients4,5,6. These parameters, combined with structural features, drive the performance of the electrode materials. The excellent results obtained on lanthanum manganite-cobaltite films incite to develop the same approach for studying other materials. The objective of the AUTOMAT-PROCELLS project (ANR) is to develop the combinatorial approach for Proton conducting Fuel cells.


The objective of the post-doctoral position is to capitalize on previous studies performed at IREC and apply the approach to the specific case of Proton conducting fuel cells. On one side, it will consist in studying the same materials developed for SOFCs and test them within the PCFC context. On the other side, we will study a new system of materials based for instance on the BaZr0.8Y0.1Yb0.1O2.95- BaCe0.8Y0.1Yb0.1O2.95 - BaSn0.8Y0.1Yb0.1O2.95 ternary diagram. Other studies are also foreseen on electrode materials. Concretely, the post-doc will participate in the combinatorial deposition experiment (preparation, deposition steps, ...), valorising her/his potential expertise in the field. She/he will also be involved in the characterisation of the resulting materials library, including advanced XRD (at SOLEIL synchrotron, France), spatially resolved Raman spectroscopy and electrical measurements.

The candidate will work at SPMS laboratory ( and be hired by CentraleSupelec (France). She/he will spend a significant part of the time at IREC (Spain) to develop combinatorial deposits and at SOLEIL for characterization. Thus the candidate should have a certain mobility and capacity to adapt to different research environments.

Net Salary: ~2600 € /month. The contract is for 2-years from the 01/01/2021.

Candidature (before the 15/11):

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Related works:
Y. Hu, V. Thoreton, et al., Faraday Discussions, 176, 31-47, 2014, DOI: 10.1039/C4FD00129J
V. Thoreton, Y. Hu, et al., J. Mater. Chem. A, 2, 19717-19725, 2014, DOI: 10.1039/C4TA02198C
A.M. Saranya, et al., Chem. Mater. 30, 5621−5629, 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b01771
F. Chiabrera, I. Garbayo, et al., APL Materials 7(1), art.n°013205, 2019, arXiv:1903.00235
F. Chiabrera, et al., Advanced Materials, 31(4), art.n°1805360, 2019, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201805360

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