UvA PhD Position in Electrochemistry, Chemistry, Chemical engineering

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

The Netherlands

Faculty of Science – Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences invites applications for a PhD position for Electrochemical Photoredox Catalysis, at University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Netherlands

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General Info

Position: PhD Position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: 2,434 to 3,111 Euro/Month

Workplace:
Faculty of Science
an ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences
University of Amsterdam (UvA)
Amsterdam,

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Qualification Details

  • A MSc in Chemistry or chemical engineering.
  • Demonstrated experience in either catalysis, flow reactors, electrochemistry, or photodriven catalysis, and a drive to get experienced in the other.
  • The ability and willingness to acquire all skills needed for the project.
  • Good communication skills and writing skills (in English).
  • You are able to show enthusiasm and scientific rigor that meets the requirements of the project.

Responsibilities/Job Description

In parallel to this development, the field of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) has been developed to the extent that some are now even commercially available, while the field is still further developing. High-efficiency n-type DSSCs employ sterically demanding dyes and/or surface passivation to shield the TiO2–electrolyte interface and suppress recombination of photoinjected electrons. This design principle has enabled the use of alternative redox mediators yielding enhancements of open-circuit voltages (VOC) that translate to power conversion efficiencies (PCE) beyond 14%. Instead of generation of electric current, similar set-up can in principle be used to drive uphill chemical reactions.

In that regard, we have demonstrated a light-driven chemical oxidation reaction combined with hydrogen formation that can be isolated as the sustainable fuel. This was demonstrated in an in-house-build batch reactor. Whereas this batch reactor was well-suited to demonstrate the principle of combining a fuel generating reaction with a catalytic chemical process, all driven by light, for the application of such strategies in industrial settings the reactor design needs to be optimized. A flow reactor in which the product can continuously be extracted from the reactor may be ideally suited. The main complication in this is that we need sufficient access to light, proper electron transport, and the surface area of the electrode should be sufficient to prevent ohmic drops. With these boundaries in mind, a new flow reactor for photo-redox conversions will be developed and evaluated for various light-driven processes.

Once an operational flow reactor is obtained, it can be explored in a plethora of photoelectrochemical conversions. Such a system allows a careful adjustment of the reaction conditions and thereby prevents waste forming reactions due to (locally) high temperatures or high oxidation/reduction potentials. The flow design also simplifies scale-up by numbering-up of the modular reactor device

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page or from advertisement webpage (URL below)

Reference Number: 21-770
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a motivation letter and CV, including a list of publications,

Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews after 18 October 2021.

About the Project

The use of non-renewable resources is causing global-scale environmental problems, which threaten the stability of our planet earth. The safe operating space to maintain liveable conditions on earth has been formulated in the planetary boundaries, of which several are already overstepped. Many of these problems are caused by human interruptions of biogeochemical cycles of the biogenic elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur leading to the creation of waste.

Zero Waste is a part of the university-wide theme of Sustainable Prosperity presented in the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) 2021-2026 strategic plan. With Zero Waste, the UvA Faculty of Science (FNWI) aims to contribute to alleviating these environmental problems resulting from the current linear use of resources by (re-)designing processes, materials, and products to keep materials in closed cycles while meeting our needs.

Zero Waste will strongly connect to education at the Faculty of Science, especially to the new BSc programme Science and Design that focusses on four interdisciplinary themes: 1) high-tech designer materials, 2) renewable energy and resources, 3) engineering life and health, and 4) information science, modelling and simulation. Six Science & Design Doctorates will form the start of the Zero Waste research theme. They will work together in physical proximity and intensive interaction to strengthen the common aspects of the projects, while researching a broad range of topics. Physically, research and demonstration activities and part of the research of the theme can be carried out in SustainaLab, the new Matrix ONE building at Amsterdam Science Park.

Over the course of the past ten years photoredox catalysis has emerged as one of the most innovative and driving fields in the development of new reactivities for organic synthesis. In contrast to a vast number of other transition metal catalysed reactions that rely on thermal activation and high-energy substrates, photoredox catalysis selectively targets a photo-activated catalyst (a photocatalyst), allowing to convert energy of photons into ‘chemical energy’ by generating open-shell species. This has resulted into the development of spectacular reactions, including C-C and C-X bond forming reactions (X= O, S, N, halogens, H), C-H activation and functionalization, oxidation reactions, cyclisation and addition reactions and even stereoselective photoredox reactions.

What these reactions have in common is that they generally produce less (or no waste) compared to alternative strategies.

About the Department

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) is one of eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Faculty of Science. HIMS performs internationally recognized chemistry and molecular research, curiosity driven as well as application driven. This is done in close cooperation with the chemical, flavour & food, medical and high-tech industries. Research is organised into four themes: Synthesis & Catalysis, Analytical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry and Molecular Photonics.

The HomKat group is part of the UvA’s Sustainable Chemistry Research Priority Area (RPA SusChem). The general aim of the research performed within the HomKat group is the development of new catalysts for known and new important conversions, a challenge that we like to approach in a multidisciplinary fashion. Important issues that are involved in these catalytic conversions comprise of the atom-efficiency, the chemo-, regio-, and stereo-selectivity, and of course the activity and the stability of the catalyst. In addition to these aspects, we also investigate new solutions to the problem of homogeneous catalyst separation and recycling. New catalytic processes are being developed that connected to the challenges involved in the transition to a sustainable society based on a sustainable energy.

About the Employer: University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Note or Other details

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of four years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of four years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and Master students.

The starting salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and depending on experience and qualifications. It will range from a minimum Select scale gross per month (salary scale) based on full-time employment.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,434 to €3,111 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.

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Contact details

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

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