Lotsch Research Group - Faculty for Chemistry and Pharmacy

Open Positions

The Max Planck Society (MPG) is one of the largest research associations in Germany dedicated to multidisciplinary fundamental research. The Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart (MPI-FKF) is one of the largest out of 84 Max Planck Institutes/facilities, with more than 400 staff members. MPI-FKF is an international hub for ground breaking research in the field of quantum materials, nanoscale research, and energy science. We offer a vibrant research environment and top conditions for world-class research at the highest level.

The Department for Nanochemistry (head: Prof. Bettina V. Lotsch) is looking for a 

Chemist/Material Scientist/Physicist (PhD) as a Theme Lead for the SOLBAT project

Your job:

The SOLBAT initiative is funded by the Max Planck Foundation and poised to deliver pioneering work in the field of solar batteries and optoionics during the next five years. Research will focus on the emerging intersection of photo(electro)chemistry and solid state ionics and aim at the development of novel light storing devices and optoionic technologies, including various light-enhanced battery concepts, time-delayed (“dark”) photo(electro)catalysis, and light-assisted memory devices. The projects will be carried out in close collaboration with the Theory Department (head: Karsten Reuter) at the Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) and have a strong focus on AI-based evaluation methods and robotic material design for the next generation of optoionic materials. The SOLBAT project is expected to deliver a significant contribution to the transition towards a renewable and sustainable energy infrastructure, as well as the development of energy-efficient, miniaturized microsystems for next-generation data processing and storage. This initiative is unique on a global scale and is supposed to lay the foundations for a multidisciplinary network within the Max Planck Society and beyond.


Purpose of the role:

  • Operational and scientific leadership of the SOLBAT project, coordination of subprojects with different scientific foci
  • Design and realization of solar batteries and related light-assisted optoionic concepts
  • Investigation of optoionic processes on an atomistic scale and elucidation of structure- property-function relationships
  • Conceptualizing the synthesis of optoionic materials by using AI, robotics and data driven methods in close collaboration with the partner group at FHI
  • Build-up and maintenance of a network with external collaboration partners, both on the national and international level
  • Co-supervision of PhD students and postdocs
  • Conceptualizing and writing of scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, patents, project proposals and reports, and contribution to science communication and scientific outreach activities in the context of SOLBAT


Your profile:

  • PhD in chemistry, material science, physics or a related subject with a focus on materials design (materials for photovoltaics, photocatalysis, battery materials etc), (photo)electrochemistry, solid state ionics, or optoelectronics
  • postdoctoral research experience in an international research environment
  • In-depth knowledge in at least one (preferably more) of the following fields: solid state ionics/batteries, general electrochemistry, optoelectronics/photovoltaics; previous experience in optoionics is a plus
  • Specialized in-depth knowledge on spectroscopic methods (NMR, optical methods, time- and frequency domain electrochemical techniques etc.) is desirable
  • Experience with the synthesis and handling of materials in inert atmospheres (glove box and Schlenk line) is beneficial
  • Strong track record in independently composing and publishing research papers, patents, and project proposals/reports
  • Experience in student (co-)supervision
  • Strong cooperation and communication skills  
  • Fluent English speaking and writing skills


Our offer:

  • A full-time position until December 2028 with salary and benefits according to the Collective Agreement of the Public Service (TVöD-Bund), funded by the Max Planck Foundation
  • A vibrant research environment at the highest international level with close collaboration opportunities with our theory partners at FHI Berlin as well as other partners within Germany and abroad
  • Access to a cutting-edge research infrastructure, service facilities and technical support infrastructure (machine workshop etc) at MPI-FKF and within the Max Planck Society to support your scientific goals
  • Supportive environment for academic qualification and training and to foster personal strengths via comprehensive training programs of the MPG
  • Support to attend workshops and conferences to develop your scientific network
  • Extended social infrastructure, e.g. in-house childcare, sports courses, language courses, in-house cantina etc.

Please email Sebastian Bette and Andreas Gouder at solbat2024@fkf.mpg.de using the title ‘SOLBAT’ and submit as a single PDF: (i) one-page cover letter and (ii) CV (including publication list, research description, and contacts of at least two referees).

Possible starting date is 1st May, 2024 or earlier. Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The Max Planck Society endeavors to achieve gender equality and diversity. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.



Postdoctoral research can be carried out within the diverse framework of research topics covered by the group, including organic synthesis of ligands for porous frameworks, nanoparticle and sol-gel chemistry, and photonic crystal research. Different funding agencies may provide funding for a postdoctoral position, such as the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, DAAD, or the EU (Marie-Curie fellowship). Note that both scholarships need some time to be processed.   If you are interested, please contact Prof. Lotsch.