The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is the largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. We perform cutting-edge research in the fields of future technologies, energy and climate, health innovation and fundamentals of nature. By performing fundamental and applied research, we work on sustainable solutions for major challenges facing society, science and economy. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore, about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether, PSI employs 2200 people.

Understanding Liquid Water Saturation in PEM technology Catalyst Layers via Operando Small Angle X-ray Scattering, for which we are looking for a
Your tasks
Power-to-H2-to-Power is an attractive route for green and seasonal energy storage with two key technologies - polymer electrolyte water electrolyzer (PEWE), and polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC). However, mass transport effects on the nanoscale level in the porous catalyst layers of both technologies reduce efficiency and increase costs. We are looking for a highly motivated student to analyze and interpret data obtained from an operando synchrotron-source small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiment performed at Swiss Light Source. With the information, we aim to understand the volume fraction of oxygen and water coexisting in both of the catalysts used for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), in PEWE and PEFC respectively. The insight from the nanoscale level is foreseen to be beneficial at understanding efficiency losses and crucial for designing better materials for both technologies.

  • Data analysis of previous synchrotron beam time
  • Learn and apply water saturation derivation for Pt/C and IrO2/TiO2 catalyst layers
  • Learn and apply fitting methods to determine the hydration state of the polymer electrolyte membrane
Your profile
  • Currently enrolled master student (chemistry, chemical engineering, material science, physics, mechanical engineering, computer science, or other relevant fields, Master thesis should not have been completed)
  • Programming and data analysis skills in Python, and MATLAB; knowledge in simulation and/or optimization
  • Knowledge in electrochemical cells will be beneficial
We offer
Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. The contract will be limited to 6 months. Start-time: January or February 2023 The payment is based on the PSI rates for interns after Bachelor's degree and amounts to CHF 2300.- gross per month.

For further information, please contact Ms Kinanti Aliyah Hantiyana, email or Mr Carl Cesar Weber, email

Please submit your application online until 2 January 2023 for the position as a Trainee (index no. 5422-T1).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Patrizia Meister, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland