PhD student for ultrafast X-ray experiments on advanced battery materials

Website EuropeanXFEL European XFEL

European XFEL is an international non-profit company located in the Hamburg area in Germany. It operates a 3.4 km-long X-ray laser, which produces X-rays of unique quality for studies in physics, chemistry, the life sciences, materials research and other disciplines. The diverse scientific facilities at European XFEL enable scientists from across the globe to carry out a wide range of experimental techniques.

The Femtosecond X-ray Experiments (FXE) scientific instrument at the European XFEL embraces several fields of ultrafast hard X-ray science and their applications to perform ultrafast pump–probe experiments on timescales down to 100 femtoseconds. Its main research program is devoted to dynamic studies of photochemical and photobiological reactions, electronic and structural dynamics in condensed matter systems and development of novel X-ray methodologies. The FXE instrument serves a broad user community with applications in various fields with emphasis on light-initiated reaction dynamics, photovoltaics, artificial photosynthesis, photocatalysis and materials research.

Within the scope of the Horizon Europe UltraBat research project (#101103873) funded by the European Union to work on capturing ultrafast electron and ion dynamics in batteries using hard X-ray techniques, we are now offering a position for PhD student for ultrafast X-ray experiments on advanced battery materials.

The position

The successful candidate will work closely with the instrument scientists at FXE and our collaborators within the UltraBat project at the CNRS, the Danish Technical University (DTU) and the Collège de France to develop and perform ultrafast X-ray measurements on battery materials at the European XFEL. This PhD position is part of a Horizon Europe project focused on capturing ultrafast electron and ion dynamics in batteries with collaborators providing expertise in sample preparation, ultrafast optical characterization, NMR, X-ray techniques and theory.  The candidate will work closely with a joint post-doctoral position (S-486) also available through the UltraBat project. The specific tasks are:

  • To evaluate the state of the art in battery materials dynamics to identify the timescales and X-ray techniques of interest to the UltraBat project
  • To work closely with the postdoc and project partners on the planning, execution and data analysis of X-ray measurements at the European XFEL and other X-ray facilities to characterize battery materials both in steady-state, in operando, and optically triggered environments
  • Process time-resolved X-ray data using existing and new software tools.
  • Explore diverse sample preparation methods for X-ray experiments.
  • Participate in measurements with our UltraBat collaborators.


  • Masters degree in physics, chemistry or in a related discipline.
  • Experience with X-ray spectroscopy or scattering is an asset.
  • Familiarity with functional materials, condensed matter dynamics or battery materials is an asset
  • Experience in data analysis using Python, MATLAB or similar tools is a strength.
  • Highly motivated for independent research in collaborative environment.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work in a multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary team, with English as the working language.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Christopher Milne ( .

Working place will be Schenefeld in the Hamburg metropolitan area. General information on working in Germany, the Hamburg area and the European XFEL can be found under

Our offer

Become part of a vibrant international and multi-cultural team of scientists, engineers, technical and administrative staff. Be involved in cutting edge scientific and technical progress and participate in our international networks. Experience our atmosphere of tolerance and respect.

Salary and benefits are similar to those of public service organizations in Germany, this includes for example:

  • family friendly working environment (e.g. additional childcare days)
  • flexible working times and option for work from home depending on tasks
  • 30 days of vacation, 24th and 31st of December are free as a courtesy of the employer
  • extensive relocation benefits
  • generous company pension scheme (6,45% of monthly salary)
  • monthly social events and subsidized company restaurant
  • partially financed job-tickets for public transportation
  • extensive training opportunities incl. subsidized English and German language classes

Among our international staff, our company language is English.

Reference number



This appointment is limited to 3years.


04 December 2023


Please apply online and provide a motivation letter and your CV in English as well as reference letters in one single pdf-file.

The European XFEL GmbH is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer and we promote and support diverse and heterogenous teams. Applicants with disabilities will be given preference over other equally qualified applicants.

To apply for this job please visit