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R9704 Graduate (Year-Round) Internship - Catalyst Ink Formulations

NREL has a year-round internship position (part-time or full-time) to conduct research developing formulations of polymer/particle dispersions to prepare catalyst layers for fuel cells and electrolysers. The objective of the research is to determine how changes in formulations and processing impact the physical properties of the inks (viscosity and particle size) and properties of resulting catalyst layer properties (uniformity, mechanical properties, and electrochemical properties).

Job activities will include:

  • Planning and executing experiments related to formulating and characterizing catalyst inks
  • Mixing polymers, particles, and liquids using various dispersing tools to create catalyst inks
  • Characterizing the rheological properties of catalyst inks
  • Characterizing particle size using light scattering methods
  • Fabricating catalyst layers using bench-top coating methods
  • Characterizing catalyst layer films using optical microscopy, adhesion testing, and other methods
  • Analyzing and interpreting experimental results
  • Presenting experimental results to colleagues and collaborators
  • Working with colleagues to interpret results and develop experiments

Basic Qualifications

Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a Bachelor's, Master's or PhD degree program, or graduated in the past 12 months from an accredited institution. Internship period cannot exceed 12 months past graduation. Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

Please Note:
•You will need to upload official or unofficial school transcripts as part of the application process.
•If selected for position, a letter of recommendation will be required as part of the hiring process.

Additional Required Qualifications

BA in Chemistry, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering or a related field.

Preferred Qualifications

- Experience conducting labwork in a wet-chemical lab either through coursework or previous work experience
- Experience or interest in colloidal science, formulations, coatings, or coating processes
- Experience in any of the following:

  • Rheometry or viscometry
  • Formulation of polymer solutions, particle dispersions, or emulsions
  • Fabrication of electrochemical or electronic devices (e.g. fuel cells, electrolyzers, batteries, solar cells, etc.) using solution coating methods.
  • Experience preparing thin films of particles or polymers using liquid film coatings methods such as doctor blade or Mayer (wire-wound) rod
  • Characterization of particle size using methods such as dynamic light scattering or laser diffraction
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to interpret and assess experimental results
- Ability to conduct independent under the direction of NREL research staff
- Keeping accurate and detailed laboratory records
- Possesses general research laboratory skills, such as the ability to set-up and operate lab equipment and instrumentation, handle chemicals in a safe manner, and perform laboratory experiment record-keeping and data entry