Post-doctoral position in silica-silane characterization [CLOSED]

Post-doctoral position in silica-silane characterization


There is an ongoing process of innovations to improve important tire properties like rolling resistance, wet traction and tread wear. The introduction of carbon black as a reinforcing agent in 1904 led to strongly increased tread wear resistance. Since the early fifties, silicas were applied in tires as well, first to improve adhesion. Technological reasons have long prevented silicas from being used in tire compounds in a greater extent. Carbon black was considered to be more effective as reinforcing filler for rubber tire treads than silica if it is used without a coupling agent. To overcome such deficiency, bifunctional organosilanes have been used as coupling agent. A significant improvement of the rolling resistance and the wet traction can be reached by using such a silica-silane system instead of carbon black. The silica-silane technology is now standard throughout Europe, at least in passenger cars, for optimizing tire treads for rolling resistance.


The main objective of this project is the characterization of the grafting reaction of silane on different silica samples and the study of the interaction between silica-silane composites and the rubber matrix (squalene). The main technique used in this work will be (operando and in-situ) IR spectroscopy and (liquid and/or solid) NMR spectroscopy.

This project is in collaboration with Evonik-Degussa, a leading industrial company in chemical compounds and silica/silane materials.

The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found and available for one year.


The post-doctoral researcher should have an important background on solid materials and their characterization. The candidate should have a good expertise in NMR and/or IR spectroscopy. Interest and knowledge in the preparation of hybrid materials would be an added value. Knowledge on silica materials would be appreciated. The candidate should also have good oral and written English expression.



Dr Mohamad El-ROZ

+33 (0) 2 31 46 27 32


Dr Frederic Thibault-Starzyk

+33 (0)231 45 28 10



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