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Ion dynamics in thermotropic ionic liquid crystals

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR8234-GUIMER-001
Workplace : PARIS 05
Date of publication : Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Guillaume Mériguet
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 15 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Ionic liquids are often called 'designer solvents' thanks to the wide range of accessible properties and the tuning afforded by the change of the nature of the constituent ions. In addition, from a more fundamental point of view, in the perspective of their incorporation into devices, the optimization of the structure-transport relationship according to their use has to be carried out. Thermotropic Ionic Liquid Crystals (TILCs) combine in a single complex material the striking features of both Ionic Liquids and Liquid Crystals, combining the better of these two materials.
In this tunable-by-design (supra)-molecular ionic structures, only a detailed knowledge of the key ion-driven transport mechanisms and their scale-dependent efficiency will enable the user to design the constraints imposed by the structure to the selected ionic species. Ion transport is expected to correlate intimately to the morphology of self-organized ionic systems across a range of length-scales, typically from molecular to nano-, meso- and macroscales.

The current PhD project aims at investigating ion dynamics within the self-assembled nanostructures across extended length and time scales thanks to a unique combination of a comprehensive panel of complementary techniques covering ten orders of magnitude of the dynamics. Specifically, molecular motions will be probed by Quasi-Elastic Neutron Scattering, the mesoscale dynamics will be probed by NMR relaxometry and the long range diffusion will be measured by Pulsed Field Gradient NMR.

The patented TILCS will be provided by our partner SyMMES (CEA Grenoble) in the larger framework of the ANR project Move Your Ion (started in January 2020).

The position is be located in Paris to work regularly on the NMR platform throughout the project duration. QENS campaigns (1 or 2 /year) will be performed at Large Scale Facilities under the guidance of both CEA and PHENIX experts. Short stays in Grenoble for QENS data analysis, cross-correlation of NMR-QENS results, and discussions with Molecular Dynamics expert, will be regularly scheduled (at least 2/year).

The PhD candidate should have a Master degree or equivalent with remarkable academic background and track record. A strong background in physics or physical chemistry of materials is expected. A good level of English is also required. Prior knowledge in the experimental techniques will be positively considered but is not needed.

Work Context

The PhD will be located in PHENIX Laboratory of Sorbonne University

Sorbonne University is a world-class, research-intensive university bringing together a broad range of arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering and medicine. The scientific Pierre and Marie Curie campus was completely refurbished in 2016.

PHENIX is a laboratory at the interface between Chemistry, Physics and Materials Science with a long-standing expertise of colloidal systems, electrolytes and fluids under confinement. Its strength lies in a combination of experimental and modeling activities (numerical simulations). Several international projects and networks are in place in PHENIX, providing a rich and multinational environment.

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