Context and project description
The increasing use of biomass compounds, as substituents or in addition to petroleum products, will influence the nature of materials used as heterogeneous catalysts. The intrinsic characteristics and the conditions of production of this new feedstock indeed indicate that reactions will often occur in liquid phase and/or in presence of water. In addition, this change in reaction conditions induces new expectations in terms of characterization of the working catalyst, as the characterization of the active sites is rarely conducted in liquid phase.
The goal of this PhD project is the study of promising catalysts based on transition metal oxides and the influence of their structure, as nanoparticulates when treated under hydrothermal conditions or nanosheets obtained by delamination of layered materials, on their catalytic properties. Reactants in liquid phase may indeed access catalytic sites of delaminated oxides which are not accessible to reactants in gas phase. Nevertheless, characterization of such materials in liquid phase is rarely attempted. Vibrational spectroscopies (Raman in particular and infrared) will thus be used during this PhD to characterize catalysts under working conditions, and this subject will also allow the development of new methodologies for the characterization of solid catalysts in liquid phase.
PhD position open to candidates holding a Master in chemistry (applied, catalysis, inorganic chemistry), physical chemistry or materials sciences. Experience in IR or Raman spectroscopies, or in characterisation techniques of solid catalysts (activity test, porosimetry, XRD, electron microscopy …) or in the synthesis of catalytic materials would be greatly appreciated.
The PhD will take place in the Laboratoire Catalyse et Spectrochimie in the ENSICAEN (Caen).
Salary and grant nature
Grant from the french Ministry of Education and Research (MENESR) for 3 years. The student will be paid directly by the Université de Caen Basse Normandie (ca. 1685 € gross salary per month, including health coverage).
Starting : September 2015.
A cover letter, the CV and contact information of two referees (recommendation letters will be appreciated) should be sent to :
Guillaume Clet (firstname.lastname@example.org ; Tel : +33/2 31 45 28 20).