PhD student position in the field of heterogeneously catalyzed C-H activation for organic synthesis. - Belgium
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- The main goal of this doctorate is the design, and characterization of hybrid single-atom Pd(II) catalysts for the oxidation alkenylation of arenes and theoxidative C-H/C-H coupling of arenes.
- In case of success, this constitutes to a significant step toward the more sustainable production of fine chemicals.
- The PhD thesis will be performed as a part of a large European Horizon 2020 project, in which world leading groups and companies for C-H activation, heterogeneous catalysis and scale-up are participating. Frequent project meetings as well as academic exchange and intense collaboration are beneficial for the successful candidate.
- In the beginning of the PhD thesis, an initial screening of homogeneous catalysts to identify lead structures for heterogeneous catalyst development will be performed.
- The corresponding redox-active metal-organic framework (MOF) materials will be synthesized which contain structures in close relation to those of the best homogeneous ones.
More specifically, the following objectives should be reached:
- Synthesis of a highly active, stable catalyst (TON>1000) with minimal noble metal leaching
- Regioselective activation of C-H moieties with or without a directing group
- Elucidation of structure-activity relationships and detailed understanding of each step of the catalytic cycle
- To reach these objectives, the successful candidate will have all possible support by the group leader, post-docs and fellow PhD students.
- The strong expertise in MOF synthesis in the group will allow for facile synthesis of the desired MOF catalysts.
- Standard characterization techniques (XRD, N2-physisorption,SEM, FTIR, …) are available within the group for fast progress of the project.
- For more advanced techniques, such as XPS or TEM, a strong network is available that allows for facile access to these techniques.
- Reactions can be performed in small reactors that allow for performing several reactions simultaneously.
- All techniques and knowledge for evaluation of the results is available within the group. Completing a PhD thesis takes 4 years, which sets the time frame of this project.
- We are looking for a person with a Master’s degree in Chemistry, (bio)chemical engineering or related disciplines with excellent study results and a strong background in catalysis.
- A strong academic record, such as having prior research stays abroad or other research experiences, is a plus.
- It is also of great interest, if the candidate has further, complimentary skills, such as in advanced characterization techniques or classic organic synthesis.