Degradation mechanisms on LSCF cathodes

Do you want to help develop innovative and environmentally friendly energy technologies for the future? 

The Fuel Cells and Solid State Chemistry Division at Risø DTU is among the world’s research leaders in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) – a technology for clean and efficient conversion of chemical energy (in the form of, e.g., natural gas, hydrogen, biogas, ammonia or methanol) into electricity and heat. In addition we have activities within a number of related topics in functional ceramics, including high-temperature electrolysis, oxygen and hydrogen separation membranes, electrochemical flue gas purification and magnetic refrigeration.

Strontium and iron co-doped lanthanum cobaltite (LSCF, La1-xSrxCo1-yFeyO3-δ) is a mixed oxygen ion and electron conductor. LSCF shows good conductivity and electro-catalytic activity at T < 700 oC and is recognized as a promising cathode material for low temperature SOFCs which are currently being developed by many consortia around the world. However, the LSCF cathode degrades over extended periods of time. The origin of the degradation is unclear at the moment.

Project description
The project aims to identify the chemical and the structural degradation mechanisms of the LSCF cathode under realistic environmental conditions. The focus will be the phase stability of LSCF itself and its chemical compatibility with other SOFC components. Self-consistent thermodynamic databases of the relevant systems will be built up utilizing the CALPHAD method. Theoretical thermodynamic calculations and model electrochemical experiments will then be conducted to clarify the major degradation mechanism of the LSCF cathode. This project will be done in close collaboration with Topsoe Fuel Cell A/S.


  • Master’s degree in engineering, chemistry, physics, materials science or similar
  • Preferably experience with one or more of the following techniques:
o       Materials characterization using XRD and SEM/EDX,
o       Chemical thermodynamics
o       Electrochemical characterisation
o       CALPHAD modeling
  • Ability to work independently, to plan and carry out complicated tasks, and to be a part of a large, dynamical group
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and spoken
We offer
We offer an exciting and challenging job in an international environment.
Good possibilities for professional and personal growth.
A family friendly organisation with flexible working hours.
Terms of employment
The terms of employment will be in accordance with those of the scientific staff at universities. Salary will depend on qualifications and experience. The position is for a fixed duration. The place of work is Risø DTU in Roskilde.
We must have your online application by 18 May 2009. Please open the link “apply online” and fill in the application form and attach your application and CV.
Further information
Please contact Head of Program Peter Vang Hendriksen +45 4677 5725,  or Senior Scientist Ming Chen +45 4677 5757, for further information.
Additional information about Risø DTU and the Fuel Cells and Solid State Chemistry Division can be found on