The position is for a period of 18 months ideally starting in November 2022 or sooner.
The project team gathers the tire company Michelin, the CP2M lab (CPE-Lyon) specialized in catalytic polymerizations of olefins and conjugated dienes, and the ITEMM-ICBMS lab (Univ Lyon 1) expert in mechanistic investigation. In parallel to the catalytic tests taking place at the CP2M, mechanistic study of the previously optimized Ni and Fe catalytic systems for the polymerization of dienes will take place in the ITEMM team. The postdoc fellow will be responsible for the later part and he outcomes of this preliminary investigation will facilitate the optimization of a first set of conditions to produce polar elastomers.The mechanistic investigation will use a combined experimental (cyclic voltammetry, EPR, Mößbauer, paramagnetic NMR, EXAFS) and computational (mechanistic pathways, calculation of spectroscopic properties, microkinetic model, activity descriptors) methodology. The same methodology will then apply to the more complex systems developed for the synthesis of polar synthetic elastomers. The research fellow will explore the nature of the chemical species formed under the catalytic conditions; and explore their relative activity / selectivity towards polymerization to set up structure -activity relationship. Correlation between experimental properties and simple descriptors (orbital energies, geometries, BDEs, …) will be investigated to allow artificial process optimization using the Michelin's facilities.
Tires are complex and engineered objects constituted of synthetic and natural rubber compounds. Synthetic rubbers are based on conjugated dienes homo or co- polymers with styrene as a main comonomer. Interactions between tire components are enhanced by the introduction of polar moieties and post- polymerization. Late transition metal catalysts (Ni, Co, and recently Fe) have been developed for the synthesis of high cis-1,4 content butadiene and isoprene rubbers. They differ by their precatalysts precursors, cocatalysts (alkylating agents) and mode of activation (transmetalation, metathesis, cationization, …).
The aim of this research project is to develop original nickel and/or iron catalysis for the production of functional/polar synthetic elastomers. Bringing functionality is challenging as it is also related to catalyst poisoning / deactivation.Benefits
Work environment. This position is funded by the ANR project POLARITY. The postdoctoral research fellow is expected to collaborate with the Michelin research center (Clermont-Ferrand) and CP2M (Lyon) to facilitate the design of the catalyst and operating conditions and analyze the results. The fellow will focus on the experimental and computational investigation of polymerization and side-reaction mechanisms. He will have to advise master students working on the project and collaborate with the PhD student that will start at CP2M in September, working on the catalyst development.Offer Requirements
Chemistry: PhD or equivalent
The applicant must either hold a PhD or an equivalent degree or have submitted his/her doctoral thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline, in organometallic chemistry (organometallic synthesis under inert atmosphere, spectroscopies (EPR, Mößbauer, EXAFS) and / or cyclic voltammetry) and/or computational chemistry at the quantum level (DFT, ab initio). Applicants should demonstrate affinity for inter-, multi-, and/or transdisciplinary research between physical chemistry, theoretical chemistry and organometallic catalysis. He should be interested in mechanisms and rational development of catalytic system at the molecular scale. Proficiency in both written and oral English.Contact Information