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Reference : UMR9198-MANLLA-002
Workplace : SACLAY
Date of publication : Friday, June 19, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Bruno ROBERT
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly
Description of the thesis topic
Carotenoids are able to dissipate quickly the excitation energy via singlet fission in vivo in chromoplasts and were able to mimic this process using bioinspired carotenoid assemblies. During singlet fission, one singlet excited state splits into two triplet-excited states. This process raises the bar of the theoretical efficiency of photon-to-charge conversion up to 200% with the trade-off of a potential energy of the triplet-excited state of ca. 0.5-0.9 eV.
The project we propose is at the interface between chemistry and biology. It will involve studies both on chromoplasts isolated from fruits and flowers and on engineered carotenoid assemblies. It will as well make a combined use of biophysical approaches (time-resolved spectroscopy, vibrational spectroscopy…) and electrochemical techniques on these natural and synthetic systems. Investigating the parameters that controls the kinetics and yields of singlet fission in biological matrices will help us to optimize the singlet fission efficiency in artificial systems and to ultimately engineer new, efficient, noble metal-free, multi-electron photocatalysts.
The student will work under the combined supervision of Bruno Robert (Head of the team Bioénergétique Membranaire et Stress) and Manuel Llansola-Portoles. The electrochemical studies will be performed in tight collaboration with the team Chimie Inorganique at ICMMO, Université Paris-Saclay. The team, located at Paris Saclay University, possess an internationally recognized expertise in excited states reactivity and the factors that control energy and charge transfer pathways, and in the development of bioinspired catalysts/photocatalysts, respectively.
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