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Research Fellow - Early detection of lithium-ion battery degradation via operando gas analysis


Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,942 to £33,797 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term until 28/02/2023
Closing Date:  Monday 09 August 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1419321EB

The formation of gases from lithium-ion batteries is a characteristic symptom of battery degradation and one of the most reliable predictors of battery lifetime. The excessive formation of gases is also an important safety concern, since it can cause the cell’s rupture and explosion, with the consequent release of toxic vapors.

Unfortunately, the techniques currently available to study gas evolution from batteries are very limited. But we have recently developed powerful operando gas analysis methods, including online mass spectrometry and operando pressure measurements (see, for example, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140, pp 1428–1437), and we are currently applying these techniques to study state-of-the-art battery materials within the Faraday Institution project on battery degradation (

You will apply these gas analysis methods to investigate the fundamental causes of battery degradation and to develop diagnostics and prevention approaches to achieve safe and long-lasting batteries, with special focus on the requirements for electric vehicle applications.

It is essential you have a PhD or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in materials chemistry or electrochemistry or a closely related discipline.  In addition, you will have research experience and high level knowledge in most of the following areas:-

a) Characterisation of reactions by mass spectrometry and/or other techniques

b) Characterisation of materials by diffraction, electron microscopy and other techniques

c) Electrochemical characterisation of batteries or related systems 

This post is suitable for chemists, materials scientists or characterisation experts with a PhD or equivalent professional qualifications and experience  (awarded or imminent) and a strong background in electrochemistry and/or analytical techniques (preferably, mass spectrometry). A good publication record and interest working in a lab are also a must.

Equality, diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in Chemistry. We particularly encourage women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic , LGBT and disabled applicants to apply for this position.  In recognition of our continued commitment to improving equality for women in science we were awarded an Athena SWAN Silver award in 2014 a and a second Silver award in 2017.  Chemistry gives full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy* and onsite childcare facilities.  For further information please visit

 The University of Southampton is ranked in the top 1% of world universities and it is placed in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities. The school of Chemistry at Southampton was ranked 8th in the UK for research power in REF2014 and 4th in the UK for Chemistry in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014, and offers a full range of world-class facilities (mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, microscopy, battery assembly, etc.) which will be available for the project, with further capabilities provided by our project partners. For informal enquiries about the project, please contact Prof. Nuria Garcia-Araez (

Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification.  The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

*subject to qualifying criteria

Application Procedure 

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2750 or email  Please quote reference 1419321EB on all correspondence. 

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We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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