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PhD Student (M/F) - Optical properties of multifunctional nanocomposite materials

This offer is available in the following languages:
- Français-- Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : samedi 15 avril 2023

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Informations générales

Intitulé de l'offre : PhD Student (M/F) - Optical properties of multifunctional nanocomposite materials (H/F)
Référence : UPR22-OLIFEL-001
Nombre de Postes : 1
Lieu de travail : STRASBOURG
Date de publication : mercredi 1 mars 2023
Type de contrat : CDD Doctorant/Contrat doctoral
Durée du contrat : 36 mois
Date de début de la thèse : 2 octobre 2023
Quotité de travail : Temps complet
Rémunération : 2 135,00 € gross monthly
Section(s) CN : Supra and macromolecular materials and systems: development, properties, functions

Description du sujet de thèse

Thesis topic: Optical properties of helical multilayer assemblies based on nanocellulose

Interesting functional properties of a material arise from its composition (i.e. the number and the chemical nature of its constituents) and/or from the complexity of its structure. Unlike man-made materials, natural materials (e.g. wood and the exoskeleton of arthropods) are generally multi-component (nano-) composites often possessing sophisticated superstructures that were optimized over very long times through natural selection. Helical materials, albeit rare, possess astounding mechanical and optical properties ensuring protection of a great number of organisms or providing signals (e.g. iridescence) essential to the survival of many species, whether to attract a partner or to scare away a predator. However, despite their numerous potential applications, there are no general methods for making such promising nanoscale composites.
In this context, we have developed a simple and adaptable strategy based on the combination of layer-by-layer assembly (LbL) and grazing incidence spraying (GIS) allowing the design of hierarchical helical architectures made of anisotropic nano-objects and (bio-)polymers and possessing tunable structural features (helix pitch and handedness). This thesis project specifically aims at developing bio-inspired multifunctional nanocomposite materials with complex anisotropies (e.g. helical superstructures) combining steel-like mechanical properties and optical properties of interest (selective optical filtering). The thesis work will focus on (i) the fabrication of thin films with complex structures composed of nanocelluloses and (bio-)polymers using LbL-GIS coupling and (ii) their structural and optical characterization using advanced tools (e.g. SEM, UV-Vis spectroscopy, circular dichroism, Muller matrix polarimetry, neutron reflectivity). The key innovations of this project are the use of biobased building blocks with exceptional properties, the coupling of self-assembly and directed assembly methods and the investigation of structure-property relationships at different length scales using advanced characterization tools. This project aims at producing resistant and filtering thin films/coatings that will be competitive for future applications (e.g. anti-counterfeiting protection, flexible displays). Such applications require resistant and transparent thin films in the visible range, capable of controlling the polarization state (linear or circular) of reflected and transmitted light. These multifunctional biobased materials will meet future environmental and societal needs for non-petroleum-based sustainable high performance products using water-based nanotechnologies.

Contexte de travail

The PhD student (M/F) will be assigned to the group "Polyelectrolytes, Complexes and Materials" (PECMAT) at the Institut Charles Sadron (ICS), a unit of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). The project will be carried out under the supervision of Dr. Olivier Félix and Dr. Matthias Pauly and in close collaboration with Dr. Bruno Jean (CERMAV, Grenoble) and Prof. Yann Battie (LCP-A2MC, Metz). The PhD student (M/F) will benefit from a 36 months funding from the Jean-Marie Lehn foundation managed by the CNRS.
ICS is a multidisciplinary research laboratory dedicated to fundamental/applied research in the fields of polymers and self-assembled systems with applications in materials science and life sciences (energy, cosmetics, environment, biomedical, food processing, …). It is the largest research center in this field in France: about 53 scientists (M/F), 38 engineers (M/F) and technicians (M/F) as well as 100 PhD students, post-docs, associate researchers and trainees (M/F). ICS is one of the founding members of the Interdisciplinary Thematic Institute (ITI) HiFunMat (ITI), a unique project dedicated to materials science, where innovative training is backed by cutting-edge research, involving a dense network of academic and industrial partners.
The PECMAT team at Institut Charles Sadron (ICS) has a nationally and internationally recognized expertise in the fabrication of multicomposite materials with nanoscale organization. Its activities encompass (i) the preparation of nanoscale building blocks, (ii) the organization of these building blocks into (multi)functional films/materials, (iii) the multiscale analysis of the structure and dynamics of these systems, (iv) the optimization of materials properties, but also (v) the improvement of the technology readiness levels once commercially interesting materials properties are found. While a large part of the activities of the PECMAT group is centered around polyelectrolytes as building blocks, other important building blocks are functional polymers, (block)copolymers, proteins and nanoscale objects (metallic, semiconducting or polymeric nanoparticles, - rods, -wires, and -fibers, carbon nanotubes, nanoclays and -platelets as well as graphene and its derivatives). The group works on films/materials at various interfaces, and also on bulk systems. Fundamental and applied research on these systems provides essential knowledge for the understanding of structure-property relationships at different scales and allows the development of new nanocomposite materials with many potential applications (sensors, functional coatings, optical filters, opto-electronic devices, flexible displays, ...) in material sciences and life sciences.
The ICS is located on the Cronenbourg Campus in Strasbourg (France). Strasbourg is the largest city in the Grand Est region and one of the four main capitals of the European Union. It is a hot tourist spot in the Upper Rhine Valley and is very well ranked not only for science but also for the quality of life.

Contraintes et risques

The PhD student (M/F) will be made aware of and trained on the risks inherent to his/her work environment.

Informations complémentaires

Candidate (M/F) profile:
This multidisciplinary thesis work at the frontier between chemistry, nanoscience, materials science and optics will involve thin film fabrication, structural characterization and physicochemical characterization. The thesis is intended for a candidate (M/F) with a master degree in physical chemistry, materials science or nanoscience. Skills in MATLAB coding for data analysis would be an asset. The candidate (M/F) will work in a dynamic environment, in which collaboration with other team members will be encouraged. Excellent communication skills (both written and oral) in English are expected, while knowledge of French is not mandatory.

- Workplace: CNRS-ICS, Campus of Cronenbourg, Strasbourg
- Registration as a PhD student at the University of Strasbourg (doctorale school ED182)

Interested candidates (M/F) should provide a CV, a cover letter, a copy of their Master (M1 and M2) and/or engineering school transcripts and two letters of recommendation.