PhD in coordination chemistry and polymerization (H/F)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Tremblay en France, LE DE FRANCE
Deadline: 15 Aug 2019

The thesis will take place at the “Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination” (LCC) in Toulouse, a CNRS laboratory worldwide recognized for its expertise in coordination and organometallic chemistry and catalysis.
The LCC is very well equipped, with many NMR spectrometers, X-ray diffractometers, IR and UV-vis spectrometers, LC-MS, GC-MS equipment…

The PhD candidate will integrate the Team G – “Ligands, Complex Architectures and Catalysis”, which is composed of 11 eleven permanent researchers/engineer and ca. 10 students/post-docs. The team possesses its own glovebox, a solvent purification system, many GCs, one SEC for polymer analysis, high-pressure reactors and all workstations are equipped with vacuum/argon lines that allow to work under inert atmosphere.

During the thesis, the candidate will also benefit from the expertise of our collaborators/partners based in Liège (Belgium), Pittsburgh (USA) to succeed in this challenging project.

Nowadays, synthetic polymers are found in almost every material of our daily life and have in many areas replaced conventional materials such as wood, steel or glass. The needs to produce well-defined and high added value (co)polymers in a controlled manner (predictable chain-length, narrow polydispersity index, chain-end control…), for applications in various high-tech fields such as aeronautics, health sciences, energy or environment has triggered both academics and manufacturers to work on the development or improvement of polymerization methods. In addition, a strong societal pressure to replace petrochemical-based plastics by bio-based and biodegradable alternatives has triggered numerous studies over the last decades.

In that context, coordination compounds have achieved many important breakthroughs. Metal complexes/catalysts are able to produce various polymeric materials with controlled size, shape etc. This project aims at developing new efficient initiators/moderators for both the radical polymerization of vinyl monomers and the ring-opening polymerization of bio-sourced cyclic esters or carbonates. With this approach, we should be able to provide new tools for new materials.

The objectives of the thesis will be (1) to design and synthesize a library of ligands of different types, (2) synthesize the corresponding metal complexes and finally (3) to evaluate their performances in polymerization. Over this project, the candidate will acquire or improve his/her skills in organic and organometallic synthesis, compound characterization techniques (NMR, IR, MS, X-ray…) and polymer synthesis and characterization (SEC, MALDI-TOF…).

Importantly, it can be noticed that polymerization is an atom efficient process and that the present project aims at using as much as possible earth-abundant, cheap and non-toxic metals, solvent free reactions conditions, bio-sourced monomers, CO2…

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