Postdoctoral researcher position

Website ALBAsynchrotron Alba Synchrotron

ALBA is a 3rd generation synchrotron light source, serving Spanish, Portuguese, European, and world-wide users, who are part of a broad science and industrial community. Funded by the Spanish Government (Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades) and the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament d’Economia i Coneixement), we form a national user facility with well-established user programs, highly appreciated in the Spanish research context, and well embedded into the European research infrastructure landscape. Our highly motivated staff works in a  multidisciplinary work environment with an atmosphere formed by lived diversity, inclusion and respect for our colleagues. Stationed at ALBA located close to Barcelona, you will find yourself in an area where others make vacation, with excellent connectivity to the world and an employer who understands the importance of life-work balance.

Under the Collaboration Framework Agreement and the Agreement establishing a Post-Doctoral joint program, signed between the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) and the Consortium for the Construction, Equipment and Exploitation of the Synchrotron Light Laboratory (CELLS)we offer a postdoctoral researcher position working on the “Rational design of advanced electrode materials based on synchrotron X-ray characterization for next generation high-performance lithium batteries” project and supporting the Portuguese energy storage community.



As a member of a research team formed by the groups of Dr. Lifeng Liu (International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Braga, PT), Dr. Laura Simonelli (CLAESS beamline, ALBA, SP), and Dr. Dino Tonti (ICMAB-CSIC, SP), you will focus your scientific work on “Rational design of advanced electrode materials based on synchrotron X-ray characterization for next generation high-performance lithium batteries. You will be stationed in, and contracted by ALBA, but the collaboration will also require short term stays at the different collaboration partners’ labs.


As the successful candidate, you will work with a team of ALBA experts, external collaborators and users on the development of advanced electrode materials that can be used in the next generation rechargeable lithium batteries with improved energy density and overall performance.

The objective of the project is to gain fundamental understanding of lithium storage mechanisms in ferrosilicon and lithium metal/alloy anodes as well as in sulfur and oxygen-catalytic cathodes, via advanced synchrotron X-ray characterization techniques including powder X-ray diffraction, X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy, X-ray Emission Spectroscopy, and Transmission X-ray Microscopy. The insights gained will be used to guide electrode materials synthesis and their potential upscaled production. Besides, operando characterization capabilities, high-throughput testing, and data analysis methodology will be developed and/or improved, aiming to set up an integrated platform that can better support the battery research and development.

You will develop your own scientific program aligned with the collaboration groups, sections, and facilities goals and at the same time support users mostly, but not exclusively, aligned with your own scientific interests. In a diverse, highly interactive team, you will have excellent conditions to refine your scientific expertise, the technical and computational background, and most importantly build a broad and carrying network for your future scientific career. You will build national and international recognition by using opportunities to publish and present your scientific results and approaches at conferences, workshops and seminars.

Specifically, you will

• Develop your own scientific program which will be strongly aligned with the scientific program of the collaboration teams, the beamlines you will use, and in the larger context of the section and facility. In details this includes, developing the research plan, executing this plan with your research partners, contributing to the preparation of experimental proposals applying for general user beamtime at ALBA and/or other facilities, and contributing to the analysis and publication of the results.

•  Provide support to users from the field of batteries as Local Contact.

•  Participate on the maintenance, commissioning and upgrade activities of equipment used for this project.

•  Engage in the on-going beamline research program, national, Portuguese and European projects and collaborations. This may also include the initiation of new projects if appropriate.

• Participate in the development of the ALBA II project, the upgrade project of ALBA to a 4th generation synchrotron.



•    The applicant must have a doctorate in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science & Engineering, or related disciplines.

•    The applicant must be Portuguese or have a permanent residence in Portugal.

•    Ability to propose, execute, and contribute to an independent research program.

•    A good level of English both written and spoken is a must. The working language at ALBA is English.

•    Good interpersonal skills and capabilities to work in a group, adaptability to a multidisciplinary environment, sense of responsibility and capabilities to work in a group as well as to work independently.


•    Previous experience in synchrotron light source facilities, ideally focused on applications in batteries.

•    Knowledge of electrochemistry, preferably hands-on experience in electrochemical energy storage.

•    Experience or knowledge of operando experiments and the development of the experimental tools.

•    Publication track-record in synchrotron X-ray characterization of materials.

•    Hands-on experiences in data analysis, theory, simulations, and data analytics

Other information

This position is reserved for those candidates having the legal status of persons with disabilities with a degree of disability equal or greater than 33%. If there are no applicants with disabilities that meet the requirements of the position, the rest of the applicants without declared disability will be evaluated.

FUNDING: The selected applicants will be jointly funded by FCT (national funds through the FCT budget) and the CELLS, following the terms of Point IV (Financial Obligations) of the Post-Doctoral Agreement.

CONTRACT TYPE: Temporal (2+3 years)


  • Motivation letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Publication list
  • For non-Portuguese candidates, a certificate for permanent residence in Portugal. This certificate must be one of the following 2 options:
    • Citizens of a European Union member-state: EU citizen registration certificate, issued by the town council, or certificate of permanent residence for the EU, issued by the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (Borders and Foreigners Services).
    • Other nationalities: certificate of permanent residence, issued by the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (Borders and Foreigners Services).
  • Document proving that the applicant holds a doctoral degree.
  • Identification card/citizen card/passport card or legal equivalent.

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