PhD Positions Electro/Photo-Catalytic Strategies for Sustainable Selective Synthesis

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 15 Aug 2021

Are you worried about climate change? Do you want to make a significant contribution to making our world more sustainable? Are you interested in developing new, clean and efficient methods for chemical synthesis using catalysis, photochemistry and electrochemistry?

In the Homkat  group at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in we currently have two PhD positions available to explore research at the forefront of catalysis. The topic of both positions involves 'Electrochemical and Photo-Redox Functionalisation and Conversion'. The aim of these projects is to shift the paradigm of chemical synthesis by coupling redox catalysis to an additional, renewable energy source, thereby enhancing the sustainability, safety and energy-preservation of chemical synthesis. New chemistry will be developed for chemical applications of the future with improved redox economy, making use of green electrons/holes and novel direct functionalisation protocols, with the aim to align with the availability of cheap electrical energy sources.

The research projects are embedded within a multilateral project of the ARC CBBC, which has the ambition to establish The Netherlands as a world player in development of new and sustainable reactivity through redox catalysis.

What are you going to do?

PhD position 1: You will develop sustainable electro- and photocatalytic methods for carbene- and nitrene-transfer catalysis from cheap and safe reagents (amines, malonic esters, aliphatic azides, ammonia) for synthetic applications in C‒H and C=C bond functionalisation reactions.

PhD position 2: You will develop sustainable supramolecular approaches in photoredox catalysis for sustainable functionalisation reactions, typically via C‒H activation and leading to C‒C, C‒N or C‒O coupling of two fragments.

Both projects have dual, applied and fundamental, character. You will explore various new concepts in electro- and photoredox catalysis. Besides that, you will explore mechanistic aspects of these reactions using spectroscopic studies (EPR, NMR, IR/Raman, etc.), kinetic studies and computational investigations, which is key importance to advance these new fields in catalysis.

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