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Reference : UMR6502-MIRRIC-001
Workplace : NANTES
Date of publication : Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Mireille Richard-Plouet
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 November 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly
Description of the thesis topic
Nanocomposite thin films (i.e. formed of nanoparticles embedded in a matrix) are attractive because of their multifunctional properties. These properties depend on the size and the environment of the nanoparticles but also on their dispersion in the matrix. Among all the factors governing the synthesis of nanocomposite thin films, the control of the dispersion of nanoparticles in the matrix remains a major challenge.
The elaboration of nanocomposite films involves a hybrid process coupling a low-pressure inductively coupled radio frequency plasma (ICP) and the pulsed injection of a colloidal solution. The subject has three main axes : (i) injection of the ZnO nanoparticle solutions prepared at the LCC into an O2 plasma and O2 / organosilicon vapour mixture, (ii) development of the conditions for dispersing the ZnO particles in a silica matrix, in conjunction with Laplace, (iii) structural and optical characterisation of the films of variable composition in order to optimise the photoluminescence properties. The approach developed will consist of conducting studies on films of particles alone and then dispersed within a SiO2 matrix.
More precisely, the impact of plasma on the healing or creation of defects related to the structure of the ZnO particles and the effect on the optical response will be evaluated by implementing plasma diagnostics and in situ spectroscopic ellipsometry and thin film characterisation techniques. The material characterisation techniques available at IMN and which will be implemented during this work are: X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectrometry (XPS), Raman scattering, FTIR spectrometry, ellipsometry (including in situ), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-vis absorption, photoluminescence. During the thesis, the PhD student will have the possibility to carry out research stays at the Laplace and the LCC in Toulouse, partner laboratories of the project.
The doctoral school is the ED3M, whose themes cover physics and chemistry in the broadest sense. More information: https://ed-3m.doctorat-bretagneloire.fr/fr/7_presentation
The proposed thesis is part of the ANR LuMINA project, involving three laboratories: the Laplace and the Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination in Toulouse and the Institut des Matériaux Jean Rouxel, IMN, in Nantes, where the doctoral student will be located. The IMN is a joint University of Nantes-CNRS research unit which currently brings together more than 130 researchers (chemists, physicists, materials engineers from the CNRS and the University of Nantes), administrative and technical staff, and 90 research contractors.
Through the design and characterisation of new materials, the laboratory's approach leads to the optimisation of a wide range of properties for targeted applications.
The proposed thesis will be carried out in the Plasma and Thin Films team, which conducts research on the development of cold plasma processes. The research strategy involves other physico-chemical processes than plasmas alone: sol-gel, chemical dealloying. The proposed subject is part of the Nano-objects and nano-materials theme and follows on from two theses (M. Mitronika defended in 2020 and S. Choutean in progress).
Constraints and risks
No particular risks, information on good laboratory practice is provided on the arrival of the person recruited.
The candidate should preferably have a Master's degree in Materials Science, or even in Physics or Chemistry.
The candidate should have a solid background in materials science (physics and chemistry) and a taste for experimental work. Experience in plasma and/or knowledge of nanomaterials could be an asset.
Experience in structural characterisation of materials/thin films (electron microscopies, AFM, X-ray diffraction) and optical properties is desirable.
Other skills and competences required
- Good level in English
- Ability to communicate and promote research (posters, presentations, participation in conferences, writing scientific articles, etc.)
- ability to work in a team, as the thesis is an integral part of a research project
Due to the holiday period, files will only be processed from 23 August.
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