This website uses cookies

Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

DI-4 Researcher - Nanotechnology

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship opportunity as part of the Science Foundation Ireland funded SFI centre CONNECT, project title “Low-cost Solid Polymer Electrolytes in Rechargeable Thin Film Batteries for Secure Smartcards.” The Nanotechnology Group - Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork, is focusing its research in Nano- design and -fabrication with the aim of making smart sensors for multiple applications. We now wish to recruit a postdoctoral fellow to develop the generation of novel sensors for environmental applications. Key research themes will include development, fabrication and characterisation of novel flexible battery platforms.

he implementation of power sources for applications such as smart cards and devices for security applications requires the development of low cost flexible batteries with improved ionic conductivity and long cycle lifetime. Nowadays, batteries for such devices are fabricated by sequentially depositing layered structures (usually less than 5 µm thickness) constituting the cathode, the electrolyte and anode on a substrate. Common solid electrolytes (LiPON, carbon-zinc) used in thin film batteries already possess attractive key features for smart card integration such as low self-discharge, high power capability, wide operating temperature window, and can be easily integrated in printed circuit boards.1 However, the relatively low ionic conductivity of the electrolyte limits the battery performances in terms of capacity and lifetime. In addition, the time consuming fabrication process due to the sputter deposition of the electrolyte, results into a high production cost per unit of energy stored.

The aim of the project is to develop novel electrolytes with improved performance compared to the existing sputtered solid commercial electrolytes and to exceed the areal energy density of existing solid-state batteries. The research will focus on the replacement of conventional solid electrolytes with a polymer composite comprised of a polymer host matrix, a lithium salt and ceramic nanoparticles. The overall battery will be flexible with thickness < 0.45 mm. The final aim will be the fabrication of a reliable, flexible and environmentally safe solid state battery suitable for incorporation into smart card devices. Specifically, the battery will be incorporated into a prototype smart card in order to power an e-printed 3-digit CVV (Card Verification Value) number that will be periodically updated (e.g., hourly and also after a transaction) in order to reduce frauds’ risk.

This is a Postdoctoral position, with limited 23 month duration.


  • The design, fabrication and characterization of novel polymer electrolytes.
  • Incorporation of selected developed electrolytes onto coin cell/solid state batteries and demonstration of targeted conductivity and life cycle performances.
  • Incorporation of developed batteries into credit card platforms.
  • Participate in Education and Public Engagement activities, as required.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the Tyndall Quality Management system.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the required Health and Safety standards.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.


  • The successful candidate for this position will have a Ph.D. in a relevant field e.g. materials science, nanotechnology, nanoscience or chemistry.
  • Most importantly, the Nanotechnology group in general, and this project in particular are very challenging multidisciplinary environments. It is therefore essential to show willingness to look beyond disciplinary boundaries, to learn new techniques and skills required for this project.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as a member of a team
  • High motivation with excellent organizational and communications skills.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in nanoscale synthesis.
  • Experience with materials science characterization tools (e.g., optical and electron microscopy, infrared/Raman spectroscopy, electrical characterisation methods)
  • Willingness to work on a variety of projects and learn new techniques.
  • Demonstrated fundamental verbal and written communication skills necessary to work in a multidisciplinary team environment, author technical and scientific reports and publications, and deliver scientific presentations.
  • The candidate should be able to work independently, and have excellent theoretical and experimental skills.
  • Fluent command of English is required.
  • Knowledge of electrochemistry and electrochemical characterisation techniques is also greatly appreciated.
  • Knowledge or experience in micro- and nanofabrication is considered as a key advantage.

Informal enquiries can be made to Daniela Iacopino at

Appointment may be made on the IUA Researcher Scale €36,853 - €43,828.

Application Instructions

Step 1 - click here to download and complete the application form

Step 2 – return the completed application form, together with your cv and motivation letter to

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process. 

Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.