The CNRS laboratory CEISAM, which is part of Nantes University in France, invites applicants for a full time post-doctoral position in photocatalysis for the development of a tandem photoelectrochemical cell for solar driven carbon dioxide reduction and alcohol oxidation. The position is open for appointment from 01.01.2023.
There is now a worldwide conviction that artificial photosynthesis will constitute a major source of energy for human activity and that research should be boosted in order to tackle the issue of global warming. Artificial photosynthesis offers the prospect of producing unlimited energy in the form of chemical fuels (such as H2 or EtOH) for the energy sector and also raw chemicals for the industry (such as CO, MeOH, carbonyl derivatives) with sunlight as sole energy source and with abundant and cheap materials such as water, carbon dioxide or biomass.1 Photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) is composed of semiconductors whose surface is functionalized with catalysts and immersed in an electrolyte containing the reactants. This project is based on our initial works2 with the global objective to design a stable photoelectrochemical cell to reduce CO2 to CO with concomitant oxidation of alcohols in carbonyls compounds with sunlight as the only energy source using molecular catalysts only made of abundant elements. The project aims at combining a unique combination of highly active CO2 reduction molecular catalysts made of earth abundant transition metal and nitroxide derivatives for alcohol oxidation organo-catalysis grafted on efficient semiconductors such as copper chalcogenide and silicon. The semiconductors for the photoelectrodes will be supplied by our collaborators, but the catalysts will be synthesized after functionalization with anchoring groups (such as phosphonic acid) to be immobilized on porous photoelectrodes and their photocatalytic performances and long-term stabilities will be determined. The core activity of this multidisciplinary project first focusses on molecular synthesis, catalysis and then on photoelectrochemistry to develop a hybrid tandem photoelectrochemical cell that mimic the biological process of natural photosynthesis.
This project is part of a larger program developed in collaboration with three other laboratories: IMN at Nantes University, LEM at University Paris and LPICM at Ecole Polytechnique in Saclay. More specifically, the project will be conducted in the CEISAM laboratory at Nantes University and will focus on organic and coordination chemistry of molecules followed by electro- and photo-catalytic characterizations.
2. (a) Wang, R., et al., ChemPhotoChem, 2021, 5 (8), 705; (b) Pati, P. B., et al., Nature Commun., 2020, 11 (1), 3499; (c) Nikoloudakis, E., et al., ACS Catal., 2021, 11 (19), 12075.Benefits
As an employee in France, you will have full access to an optimal health service.
The average net salary is about 2200 € per month depending on the experience.Eligibility criteria
We are particularly interested a young scientist holding a PhD degree in chemistry with experience from research areas within photocatalysis for hydrogen production, CO2 conversion who is familiar with photocatalytic tests and skilled for molecular synthesis. Competences in photoelectrochemistry are also of high interest.Required Research Experiences
Chemistry › Molecular chemistry
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Chemistry › Organic chemistry
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Chemistry › Physical chemistry
1 - 4Offer Requirements
The main aim of this project is to synthesize molecular catalysts for CO2 reduction and TEMPO derivatives for alcohol oxidation and their implementation on photoelectrodes to build a tandem photoelectrochemical cell. The candidate will be involved in the following tasks:
A highly motivated and skilled candidate with experience at the frontier of molecular synthesis and material science is actively searched for this position. Additional competences in photophysic, material science and electrochemistry would be appreciated as well. Good communication skills either in French or in English (both written and oral) are required. Owing to the multidisciplinary aspect of the project, curiosity and motivation to acquire knowledge in different fields at the frontier of chemistry is also an asset.Specific Requirements
Applicants must have been awarded with a doctoral degree in chemistry. We are seeking a highly motivated, creative researcher skilled in organic synthesis and interested in materials chemistry for developing a project in the area of artificial photosynthesis for sustainable chemistry and solar driven fuel production.Contact Information