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Reference : UMR6226-FRACAM-002
Workplace : RENNES
Date of publication : Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Dr. Franck CAMEREL
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly
Description of the thesis topic
The storage and the management of large amounts of data (Big Data) constitute a major technological challenge, linked to the evolution of computer applications, which requires the development of innovative molecular materials. This multidisciplinary project, in addition to its fundamental interest, is dedicated to the development of innovative and laser-responsive photoactive thin films for high capacity 3D data storage in a reliable manner.
For this, original mesogenic chromophores, combining within the same molecule, several synergistic properties such as two-photon absorption, second harmonic generation, photodimerization and chirality will be developed. The liquid crystal properties will be exploited to generate flexible, stimuli-repsonsive and highly organized materials. Photophysical studies and read / write processes in volume (3D) will be studied by laser methods. The objectives of the project are the design and characterization of new liquid crystal materials active in non-linear optics and coupled to molecular entities which can be dimerized by 2-photon irradiation. The linear and non-linear photophysical properties of the developed chromophores will be studied by advanced techniques. Our main focus will be on the preparation of thin films from these original chromophores and their use for 3D data storage by laser focusing. The use of active chromophores in non-linear optics will allow writing on the surface of thin layers but also in depth. Thus, several levels of writing will be accessible and larger amounts of information will be stored in the volume. Despite the richness of this approach, a limited number of attempts have been made so far to directly incorporate nonlinear optical properties into mesogens (liquid crystal molecules). This approach is an elegant alternative to conventional optical techniques which should improve data storage capacity within a flexible thin film.
This thesis will be developed within the framework of an ANR project which involves two French partners and an international partner: the Institut of Chemical Sciences of Rennes (UMR 6226, University of Rennes 1, CNRS, France), the Mulhouse Materials Science Institute (IS2M, UMR 7361, CNRS, University of Mulhouse, France) and the Molecular Imaging and Photonics Division (KU Leuven, Belgium). This multidisciplinary thesis work will be supervised, at the Institute of Chemical Sciences in Rennes, by Franck Camerel (DR, CNRS) who has strong expertise in the design of chromophores capable of self-organizing within soft matter. The student will be in charge of the synthesis and characterization of multifunctional chromophores, the study of liquid crystal properties and the evaluation of the processability and the capability of the multifunctional chromophores to form good quality thin films. All the equipment necessary for the synthesis and characterization of newly synthesized molecules is available within the Institute of Chemical Sciences of Rennes and the doctoral student will work within a multidisciplinary team. The doctoral student will have to make several stays in partner laboratories (2-3 weeks / year) to study the molecules synthesized and characterized in Rennes. These close collaborations will allow the doctoral student to acquire additional and complementary skills on cutting-edge techniques in non-linear optics and to discover new working environments and practices.
Constraints and risks
The candidate will have to master synthesis techniques (organic chemistry, purification and characterization techniques). We would like to find a motivated candidate willing to develop their skills and knowledge in synthesis, characterization of liquid crystals (DSC, POM, SAXS), spectroscopic characterization and chemistry of materials. A good English level and knowledge on non-linear optics would be a plus.
Application: detailed CV and motivation letter; names and contacts of two references; school reports of Master 1 and of the 1st semester de M2.
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