IPVF Internship – Physico-chemical characterization of thin film electrodes for H2 production


Function: Master student

Contract Type: Internship

Starting Date: February/March 2022

Working Place: Palaiseau, France (Paris-Saclay technology cluster)

Duration: 6 months

Education: Master 2




Become an actor of the Energy Transition by joining a team driven by innovation and impact to address today’s most decisive challenges.


IPVF – Institut Photovoltaïque d’Île-de-France, is a global Research, Innovation and Education center, which mission is to accelerate energy transition through science & technology.
Gathering industrial PV leaders (EDF, TotalEnergies, Air Liquide, Horiba and Riber) and world-renowned academic research organizations (CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique), multi-disciplinary and international IPVF teams conduct research for clean energy technologies. Supported by the French State, IPVF is labelled Institute for Energy Transition (ITE).


IPVF at a glance:
• An ambitious Scientific and Technological Program (6 programs divided in 24 work packages): from tandem solar cell technologies to economy & market assessment, state-of-the art characterization, photocatalysis and breakthrough concepts.
• State-of-the-art technological platform (8,000m²): more than 100 cutting-edge equipments worth €30M, located in cleanrooms (advanced characterization, materials deposition, prototypes for fabrication, modelling…).
• High-standard Education program (M.S. and PhD students).





Sustainable water electrolysis requires the use of  anode and cathode catalysts that are noble metal-free and contain small amounts of metals in order to reduce system costs and facilitate recycling. In IPVF, we propose to integrate bi-functional catalysts that work for both hydrogen evolution (HER) and oxygen evolution (OER) reactions. Among the possible candidates, we propose to study some bi- and tri-metallic catalytic systems, as well as nitrides and sulfides prepared by different thin film deposition techniques such as sputtering or Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD). These two deposition methods have the advantages to facilitate the formation of efficient and new catalysts, and to allow its upscaling.

In this study, we investigate the effects of varying the composition, structure, thickness, and morphology of electrodes both towards HER and OER. Their stability, electrochemical behavior, and performances for water-splitting will be assessed.

This work will pave the way to the implementation of bi-functional electrode into high-efficiency PV-electrolyzer hybrid systems.





The candidate will be involved in the characterization of bi- and trimetallic, and nitrides / sulfides electrodes using sputtering or Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) for H2 and O2 production (HER & OER).


She/he will evaluate the influence of the deposition parameters of catalytic layers on the physico-chemical properties and electrochemical performance of electrodes.


The intern will aim to:

▪ Lead the bibliography on the properties of electrodes develop in this project toward HER and OER.

▪ Characterize the physico-chemical properties of samples (Raman spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction, X-ray Fluorescence, X-ray reflectometry, AFM…).

▪ Correlate the physico-chemical properties of electrodes to their performances toward HER and OER.





  • Material sciences / Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry


  • Strong experimental and analysis skills
  • Proficient English required


Self-management skills

  • Strong teamwork skills
  • Proactive and Autonomous




Cover letter, CV and last academic transcripts to be sent to: negar.naghavi@chimieparistech.psl.eu

Need a direct line?

Feel free to contact us for more information about our offers.

  • +33(0)1 69 86 58 60
  • contact@ipvf.fr
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