Internship | Development of hard carbons for batteries

About this position

The contribution of renewable energy sources to the total energy generation is steadily rising. One of the issues of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, is intermittency and therefore electricity price variation. At TNO, we work on several aspects of the energy transition from energy generation to storage. The project described here is concerned with energy storage for next-generation beyond-Li batteries, specifically Na-ion batteries.

Na-ion batteries have been gaining attention, with recent examples of battery cells developed by several companies. However, there is still a lot of research to do if we want to keep pace with demands for energy density, power density, durability, safety, and sustainability. Within this project, the aim is to create hard carbon anodes with high durability.

Minimum project duration is 6 months, starting as soon as possible. A more detailed plan will be drafted together with your academic supervisor. Within TNO, you will work at Holst Center and in the Materials Solutions Department in Eindhoven.

What will be your role?

In this internship, you will synthesize hard carbon and evaluate its electrochemical performance in Na-ion battery cells. You will relate the electrochemical properties of the material to the synthesis protocol, materials properties, and electrode preparation methods.

As for the experimental part, you will first develop a synthesis method for hard carbon materials. Afterwards, you will prepare the full electrodes and test the battery performance in coin cells under industrially relevant conditions. Under guidance of TNO, you will propose solutions to optimize the electrodes and their production process.

You will learn characterization and analytical techniques such as Scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), X-Ray diffraction analysis (XRD), as well as electrochemical techniques such as cyclic voltammetry (CV) and battery testing.

What we expect from you

The duration of this internship is at least 6 months

  • Education in chemistry, materials science, sustainable energy technologies, or physics.

  • Practical experience in lab environment and hands-on skills are preferable, particularly with chemical synthesis, and/or electrochemistry.

  • Interest in the energy transition.

  • High motivation, with a curious nature and a taste for problem-solving.

  • Ability to work autonomously within a small team and good social skills to get the information you need from the most knowledgeable people around you.

  • Good communication skills (in English).

What you'll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; an internship gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. We do not only look at each other. You and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your internship and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable internship compensation.

TNO as an employer

TNO is an independent research organisation whose expertise and research make an important contribution to the competitiveness of companies and organisations, to the economy and to the quality of society as a whole. Innovation with purpose is what TNO stands for. With 3000 people we develop knowledge not for its own sake but for practical application. To create new products that make life more pleasant and valuable and help companies innovate. To find creative answers to the questions posed by society. We work for a variety of customers: governments, companies, service providers and non-governmental organisations. Working together on new knowledge, better products and clear recommendations for policy and processes. In everything we do, impact is the key. Our product and process innovations and recommendations are only worth something if our customers can use them to boost their competitiveness. We are an international team with diverse cultural background. We embrace everyone with respect, open mind and warm heart.

The selection process

If the above has spiked your interest, then please send your CV and motivation to Diana Chaykina by e-mail: She can also answer any questions you may have about the internship.

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the department concerned. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement.

For this internship vacancy it is required that the AIVD issues a security clearance (VGB) after conducting a security screening. Take into account that this process may take about 8 weeks. If you have been abroad for more than 6 consecutive months, or if you do not have the Dutch nationality, it may take longer. Please visit for more information the AIVD website.