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Reference : UMR5082-GUIPIN0-001
Workplace : VILLEURBANNE
Date of publication : Thursday, October 14, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Guido Pintacuda / Anne Lesage
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 15 November 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross per month
Description of the thesis topic
Solid-state NMR of paramagnetic molecules provides a direct probe of the electronic structures in metal complexes in a solid phase. This field has experienced a real revolution in the very recent years. Combined progress in sample preparation, magnet and probe technology, and irradiation schemes has opened the way to the first examples of high-resolution NMR spectra in paramagnetic crystalline and non-crystalline solids, and to the use of these effects as a powerful source of restraints for structure determination of small metal complexes and large metalloproteins. Notably, the CRMN laboratory has recently introduced an approach, which is based on small-volume rotors with very fast (>60 kHz) magic-angle spinning (MAS) with large radio-frequency (RF) powers. Under these conditions, sensitivity and resolution experience a spectacular enhancement as compared to slower rates, allowing efficient detection of previously unobservable nuclei in highly paramagnetic substances.
Despite tremendous recent progress, however, a number of issues remain to be addressed before this technique can become a routine tool for the targets of high complexity represented by chemical catalysis. The proposed PhD project concerns the development and the application of new powerful set of spectroscopic techniques that will remove the key current barriers to progress in NMR spectroscopy on crystalline and non-crystalline samples containing paramagnetic metal ions. This knowledge will enable the determination of the relationship between electronic structure at the metal sites, local geometries and chemical performance in metal-based catalysts, battery and/or luminescent materials, with the aim to develop improved functions via structure/dynamic – property/function relationships.
The candidate will join the research group jointly operated by Guido Pintacuda and Anne Lesage, working on the development of new Very High Field NMR techniques for the analysis of solids. The team is part of the Centre de RMN à Très Hauts Champs de Lyon (https://www.crmn-lyon.fr/), a state-of-the-art NMR centre (spectrometers up to 1 GHz, liquids, solids, DNP). The CRMN is a scientific institute affiliated with the CNRS, the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1. The CRMN hosts leading research groups, offers excellent working conditions and is located in Lyon, one of the most dynamic French cities with an excellent quality of life.
Since September 2021, the team has been involved in the coordination of a European consortium of 10 infrastructures (PANACEA www.panacea-nmr.eu), which aims to provide access to state-of-the-art solid-state NMR instrumentation and experiments for European chemists, both academic and industrial. PANACEA will also foster technical innovation through direct partnerships, both with the four NMR technology providers in the consortium and with transnational access users from the wider chemical industry. The candidate will participate in a series of joint research activities between the host laboratory and the consortium members, designed to harmonise and optimise access procedures and interfaces, so as to facilitate the use of modern solid-state NMR by non-expert users, and to broaden the possibilities for new application areas in chemistry (pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, cosmetics, food, materials, fuels, polymers and clean energy).
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