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PhD proposal – LCS – ENSICAEN – University of Caen Normandy, France
IR spectroscopy is widely used for characterization of heterogeneous surfaces by adsorption of probe molecules or the elucidation of surface reaction mechanisms. While many information can be used by qualitative analysis of the IR spectra, their use for quantitative purposes is often challenging.
We have recently developed methodologies aiming at quantitatively characterizing the chemisorption (number of sites and adsorption thermodynamics) and/or surface reactivity (rate constants and activation energies of surface reactions) using distinct strategies: (i) inversion of spectral data, which allow assessing the distribution of adsorption sites and/or reactivity of surface centers but requires a highly constrained model, and (ii) multivariate curve resolution, that allows more flexibility (from soft to hard-soft constraints), but is mostly efficient for a limited number of distinct species.
The present work will aim at combining and implementing both approaches in order to build a versatile toolbox allowing easier and more efficient processing of spectral data obtained on surfaces of catalysts or adsorbants. In particular, these methods will be applied to the characterization of solid acids used for biomass valorization. In particular, they will be extended to the characterization of highly hydrated surfaces or in the liquid phase.
The candidate should hold a Master’s degree or equivalent and must have bases in physical chemistry and scientific programming. He (She) will make intensive use of characterization techniques (IR spectroscopy) and chemometrics. Specific skills in these areas would be a plus.
Localization: The work will be carried out in the LCS, Caen, France (www-lcs.ensicaen.fr)
Starting date : september / October 2016
Salary: Grant from the French Ministery of Research, 1700 € gross/month, (~ 1300 € net/month with social benefits and health coverage)
CV (including contact details of scientific referees) and motivation letter should be sent to :
Arnaud Travert – firstname.lastname@example.org – Tel. +33(0)2 31 45 28 23.