The Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) in Berlin is one of the oldest and most renowned research institutes within the Max Planck Society (MPG), Germany's most successful scientific organization. At the FHI, researchers from all over the world are engaged in basic research in the fields of physics and chemistry at interfaces and surfaces, catalysis research, and molecular physics. The Department of Inorganic Chemistry ( focuses on establishing fundamental understanding on the functionality of industrially applied heterogeneous catalysts. Key aspects of our research involve synthesis, state-of-the-art characterization, concept and method development, and operando studies to obtain insights into their working structures. We aim at finding structures responsible for activity at gas/solid, liquid/solid, and solid/solid interfaces and the origin of deactivation within complex systems.

Within the cluster of excellence 'e-conversion' of the TU Munich the Inorganic Chemistry department of the FHI is offering a

Postdoctoral position to study the deactivation of Cu/ZnO catalysts for methanol synthesis by operando electron microscopy

Methanol produced over Cu/ZnO catalysts is considered a main ingredient for chemical energy conversion within the energy transition towards renewable energy sources. Understanding structural details of catalysts´ deactivation may lead to new design concepts to enhance the lifetime for efficient methanol production.

This position will offer the unique opportunity of combing different operando techniques for electron microscopy, including environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), with state-of-the-art aberration corrected high resolution TEM and electron spectroscopy. Experiments will be complemented by operando X-ray spectroscopy measurements at the synchrotron beamline BESSY II. Furthermore, a close collaboration with the Theory department of the FHI ( is planned.

The postdoctoral position is initially limited to two years with the option for an extension.


We expect candidates to have:


Please submit your application via our online application portal as soon as possible but latest by January 15, 2022 including the following documents:

For more information, please contact Dr. Thomas Lunkenbein (, Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Faradayweg 4-6, 14195 Berlin
We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.
The Max-Planck-Gesellschaft endeavours to achieve gender equality and diversity. Furthermore the Max Planck Society aims to increase the participation of women in research. Therefore, applications by women are particularly welcome. The Max Planck Society is also committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.


The Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) is located in the quiet south-west of Gemany’s capital Berlin, which is a large, tolerant and cosmopolitan city. Berlin offers a wide variety of culture, art, music, and outdoor opportunities.

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