PhD in Chemistry

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 01 Feb 2022


Ionic Liquids as a Transformative Tool in Nanosynthesis

Research area and project description:

As part of a Villum Investigator grant [1,2] ionic liquids (room temperature molten salts) as transformative tool in the synthesis of nanomaterials will be explored.

Nanomaterials have become indispensable for modern life. Many technologies depend critically on nanomaterials with engineered properties and structures. Examples include photocatalysts for hydrogen production and waste water treatment [2], energy efficient phosphors for lighting applications [3], and thermoelectric materials for energy conversion [4]. Technological borders could be pushed further if more powerful tools for the tailored synthesis of nanomaterials could become available. Here, ionic liquids (ILs, room temperature molten salts) have the potential to become a true game changer. ILs, which can be built by a wide variety of cation-anion combinations with different functionalities, can act as the reaction medium, particle stabilizing and templating agent all-in-one, sometimes even as the reaction partner.

The goal of this PhD project is to develop a deep understanding of how ILs guide the formation of a nanomaterial and to apply this knowledge for the next era of nanosynthesis by proving that tailor-made ILs with specific functional groups and physico-chemical properties allow for the deliberate assembly of a nanomaterial or a nanostructure.

The project will take advantage of the latest possibilities offered by the Department of Chemistry and iNANO, together with large-scale facilities for neutron and synchrotron X-ray scattering.

The PhD candidate will manage a wide range of state-of-the-art synthesis (physical vapor deposition, microwave synthesis, mechanochemical and ultrasound synthesis) and characterization techniques with emphasis on structure analysis with diffraction methods (PXRD, SAXS, TEM, EDX) and become an expert in materials synthesis, structure and property determination. She/he will work in an inspired international environment and have opportunities of international research stays as well as attending international conferences. The candidate will benefit from strong international collaborations and work and network with top scholars around the world.


1.       The Villum Investigators 2021 are fuelled by curiosity | THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS

2.      T. Alammar, V. Smetana, H. Pei, I. Hamm, M. Wark, A.-V. Mudring, Not only just a green synthesis and application of SrTiO3 : Crystal facet engineering of SrTiO3  nanoparticles for photocatalytic applications, Adv. Sustainable Syst., 2021, 5, 2000180 (10 pages). DOI: 10.1002/adsu.202000180; T. Alammar, I. Slowing, J. Anderegg, A.-V. Mudring, Ionic Liquid-Assisted Microwave Synthesis of Solid Solutions of Perovskite Sr1-x Bax SnO3  Nanocrystals for Photocatalytic Applications, ChemSusChem 2017, 10, 3387-3401. DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201700615.

3.      G. Tessitore,  A.-V. Mudring, K. Krämer, Upconversion luminescence in sub-10 nm β-NaGdF4 : Yb3+ , Er3+  nanoparticles: An improved synthesis in anhydrous ionic liquids, RSC Advances, 2019, 9, 34784-34792. DOI: 10.1039/C9RA05950D K. Richter, C. Lorbeer, A.-V. Mudring, A novel approach to optically active ion doped luminescent materials via electron beam evaporation into ionic liquids, Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 114-117. DOI: 10.1039/C4CC05817H; C. Lorbeer, A.-V. Mudring, Quantum cutting in nanoparticles producing two green photons,  Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 13282-13284. DOI: 10.1039/C4CC04400B.

4.      J. Schaumann, M. Loor, D. Ünal, A.-V. Mudring, S. Heimann, U. Hagemann, S. Schulz, F. Maculewicz, G. oving the zT value of thermoelectrics by nanostructuring: Tuning the nanoparticle morphology of Sb2 Te3  by ionic liquids, Dalton Trans. 2017, 46, 656-668. DOI: 10.1039/c6dt04323b, S. Heimann, St. Schulz, J. Schaumann, A.-V. Mudring, J. Stoetzel, F. Maculewicz, G. Schierning, Record figure of merit values of highly stoichiometric Sb2 Te3  porous bulk synthesized from tailor-made molecular precursors in ionic liquids, J. Mat. Chem. C 2015, 3, 10375-10380. DOI:10.1039/c5tc01248a.

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