PhD Project in Development Of High-Performance Biobased Supercapacitors

Catholic University of Leuven Kulak



In this project, new supercapacitor devices will be developed that fill a technologically viable place in the Ragone plot gap between batteries and electrochemical double-layer capacitors with needed high energy density and power characteristics, high cycling stability, and based largely on renewable resources. We target a specific energy and power of respectively 150-300 W·h/kg and 10-50 kW/kg and scalable methods for electrode material preparation will be developed. 
These ambitious goals will be achieved through the following steps:
  • Manufacturing of highly porous, hierarchically organized carbonaceous anode materials
  • Design and engineering of high-performance cathode materials using tri-component composites
  • Optimization of the assembly process to realize superior performance of the supercapacitors
We are looking for 2 PhD students who will work in tandem on various aspects of this project and who will collaborate and support each other. This work will also be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Stefan Spirk and Prof. Stefan Freunberger at TU Graz (Austria) so scientific visits to Austria are a possibility.

We seek an enthousiastic scientist with an interest in the development of sustainable supercapacitor electrode materials and nanoparticle self-assembly.  Preference will be given to students with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or Bio-Engineering. Experience with supercapacitor development and characterisation and/or substantial general electrochemistry will be a strong plus in the application.

Admission to the Arenberg Doctoral School requires at least a Master's degree with distinction or a Master's degree with a scientific publication in an international peer-reviewed journal.

We have funding for a fully-funded 4-year fellowship to work towards a PhD in Chemical Engineering in a very international research group.
Progress will be annually reviewed following the guidelines by the Arenberg Doctoral School.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Wim Thielemans, tel.: +32 56 24 61 71, mail:
Applications will be reviewed as they are received and interesting candidates may be contacted and interviewed before the application deadline.
You can apply for this job no later than September 30, 2019 via the online application tool
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