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Polypyrrole-based ligands for the assembly of metal-sulfides clusters

​6-Months master internship available in Bio-Inorganic Chemistry
Published on 14 September 2017

Laboratory: Chemistry and Biology of Metals laboratory
Name of the team: SolHyCat
Contact: Matthieu Koepf
Address: Bâtiment K’, 17 avenue des martyrs, 38054 Grenoble cedex 9

A 6-months master internship position is available at the Chemistry and Biology of Metals laboratory (UMR 5249, CEA-CNRS-Université Grenoble Alpes; Grenoble, France).
The position will open in January 2018, in the SolHyCat group, for a research-project dedicated to the synthesis of polypyrrole-based ligands for the assembly of metal-sulfide clusters.

Applications must be sent to Matthieu Koepf before the end of November 2017.

we are looking for a candidate highly motivated by molecular synthetic chemistry and electro-catalysis, for energy-related applications. The successful candidate will have strong background in coordination chemistry and an experience in molecular synthetic chemistry (organic/inorganic synthesis). A good knowledge of the usual spectroscopy techniques and electrochemical methods applied to the characterization of molecular species will be an asset.

The development of sustainable alternatives to energy-intensive industrial processes represents a major challenge for the coming decades. In that context, exploring solar-driven approaches for the production of basic chemicals and fuels is particularly appealing.1 It will require to shift paradigm from thermally- to electro-driven processes, which are directly relevant to solar-driven approaches, and thus, must be associated with the development of innovative catalytic materials. Over the past years, the SolHyCat group has built a strong expertise in the design, synthesis and study of bioinspired protons2 and carbon dioxide3 reduction electrocatalysts. Some of which could successfully be integrated into functional photocatalytic devices.[4-6] We are now seeking to expand the scope of active electrocatalysts for multielectronic reactions by introducing a new class of material based on well-defined polymetallic sulfides clusters.

Over the course of evolution, polymetallic sulfides have been selected as a major class of redox-active co-factors to support the bioenergetic processes of living organisms. Due to their ability to store and deliver multiple redox equivalent as well as to stabilize proton/hydrides on their surface, these remarkable co-factors play a pivotal role in bio-catalyzed transformation such as proton reduction/hydrogen oxidation, carbon dioxide reduction or nitrogen reduction. The investigation of synthetic analogs of these cofactors is therefore appealing to develop innovative catalytic materials for energy applications. It is, however, hindered by the lack of versatile strategies for the stabilization of well-defined polymetallic sulfide clusters.

With this project, we will develop the synthesis of polypyrrole-based ligands presenting thiolated cavities and use them to assemble bioinspired molybdenum- and iron-sulfides clusters. The latter materials will further be immobilized on carbon nanotubes to investigate their electrocatalytic activity for proton reduction/hydrogen oxidation as well as nitrogen reduction.

Research fields:
organic and inorganic synthesis, electrocatalysis, small molecules activation, bioinorganic chemistry.

Internship’s date :
January - June 2018
A CEA-funded PhD position will be available on this topic for the fall 2018.

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