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Thèse/PhD - Investigation of PVDF binders / electrodes for lithium ion batteries H/F


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Targeted company

A designer of materials and innovative solutions, Arkema shapes materials and creates new uses that accelerate customer performance in lightweight and design materials, biosourced materials, new energies, water management, solutions for electronics, and the performance and home insulation.

A global manufacturer in specialty chemicals and advanced materials, with 3 business segments – High Performance Materials, Industrial Specialties, and Coating Solutions – and globally recognized brands, the Group reports annual sales of 8.8 billion euros. Buoyed by the collective energy of its 20,000 employees, Arkema operates in close to 55 countries.

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Job category

Research & Development - Research


PhD Contract

Duration of the contract

Limited to 3 years

Your skills

You have a university degree (Diploma (Uni) / Master) in materials science, chemistry or process engineering. Experience in the field of processing of ceramic materials is desirable, additional knowledge in the field of electrochemistry of advantage.

Your responsibilities

Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) is a highly non-reactive thermoplastic fluoropolymer used in applications needing the highest purity, as well as excellent electrochemical, chemical and thermal stability. In lithium ion batteries, PVDF is added as binder that glues the electrode particles together and connects them to the current collector. Beside the adhesive function, the binder has to fulfill additional tasks e.g. as an effective dispersion agent. It can therefore be considered as a key component that has significant impact on the performance of the battery. Nevertheless, the potential of PVDF is not yet fully exploited. Functionalization of the polymer and a better understanding of the interactions with other electrode components can open up new perspectives to serve as a standard additive for recent applications and for future generations of battery concepts too.
The goal of the thesis is to gain an improved understanding of the interactions of PVDF binders with active materials and other electrode additives. Special emphasis will be given on the identification and controlling of the binder distribution in the electrode components. Further tasks comprise the investigation of the adhesion properties and the determination of the mechanical behavior. Current trends in electrode materials, such as silicon-containing anodes, will be investigated in the same way as new electrode concepts based on post-lithium systems.
We offer you the opportunity to complete the promotion within three years. During this time, you will work in an interdisciplinary working group and you will have access to the excellent research infrastructure and experimental facilities at KIT. The work will be performed in cooperation with Arkema, a French global chemistry company among worldwide leader for high-performance materials, including for batteries, giving you good insights into the industrial aspects of electrode production too.

Travel frequency


Working rhythm


Your skills

Min. education level required

Master's Degree



Min. experience level required



English (Advanced)

Job location

Job location



Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)