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Metal-mediated C–F bond activation and C–F bond formation

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UPR8241-ANTSIM-003
Workplace : TOULOUSE
Date of publication : Monday, February 17, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Antoine Simonneau
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

The selective synthesis of fluorinated organic compounds is crucial for our modern world, as they are ubiquitous in pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, medical imaging, materials and more. All processes leading to fluorinated chemicals involve the challenges of C–F bond activation, formation and/or functionalisation. This project has for main objectives to understand key mechanisms by which transition metal complexes selectively mediate such transformations, experimentally and theoretically, and translate this knowledge into novel, rationally designed catalysts. In collaboration with the University of York, complementary early transition metals and late transition metals organometallic approaches will aim at i) selectively activate C–F bonds for subsequent C–C coupling and ii) allow for regio- and stereo-selective fluorination of organic molecules. Results gathered through both approaches will lead to the development of original bimetallic, cooperative catalysts for tandem fluorination/C–F bond activation.

Work Context

The Laboratory for Coordination Chemistry (LCC), based in Toulouse, southern France, and associated to the Université Paul Sabatier, is part of an Innovative Training Network (ITN) and more specifically a European Joint Doctorate (EJD), funded by the European Commission through the Marie Sklowdoska-Curie Action (MSCA), entitled "Coordination Chemistry Inspires Molecular Catalysis" (CCIMC). This vacancy (referenced as ESR5 on the CCIMC website: offers a 3 year, fully-funded double PhD award in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry in the University of York (UK). You will be supervised by Dr. Antoine Simonneau (LCC) and co-supervised by Dr. Jason Lynam and Dr. John Slattery (University of York).
The Laboratory for Coordination Chemistry ( is one of the top chemistry institute in France and is part of the CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (“National Centre for Scientific Research”), the French leading research establishment. We have at our disposal very well equipped technical and analytical platforms for the daily support of scientific work. Strong of more than 70 researcher divided in 15 teams, research at the LCC places coordination chemistry as a central tool to solve current issues associated with climate change, energy transition and life sciences along 3 axes of investigations: catalysis, materials and health. More than 100 undergraduates, graduates and postgraduates of various nationalities are present at the LCC, thus ensuring a motivating working environment as well as opportunities for social events.
The Department of Chemistry at York is one of the UK's leading Chemistry departments and we are renowned internationally for our research. This is combined with a commitment to teaching and outstanding student satisfaction, and we have been recognised consistently for our family-friendly policies and are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award. As a Department we strive to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We aim to ensure that there is a supportive and egalitarian culture at all levels and across all staff groups. We promote good practice and a strong culture of equality in higher education. Further information can be found within this brief and on our website:
In order to qualify for award of the double degree the candidate will be required to spend a minimum of 12 months in the Department of Chemistry of the University of York under the supervision of Dr Jason Lynam and Dr John Slattery. A secondment in industry, at Italmatch Chemicals, Italy, will complement the training provided in Toulouse and York. In addition, training events will take place at a number of sites around Europe, allowing the researcher to benefit from significant international mobility. The candidate must be enthusiastic about, and willing to, travel as part of the project and must accept the terms of the award of the double degree, including the requirement to attend international training events and fulfil the double degree examination process. There will be extensive opportunities to engage with other groups in the consortium, who represent many of the European leaders in the area of coordination chemistry and catalysis.

Additional Information

The CCIMC ITN addresses the current lack of coordinated doctoral training at the European level on molecular catalysis. It aims to push the frontiers of knowledge in ligand design, coordination chemistry, pre-catalyst development, catalyst recovery and catalytic process implementation, while also offering full scale training in professional and personal transferable skills, to prepare a new generation of junior scientists to meet the economic and societal challenges of the chemical industry in the 21st century.
The CCIMC programme involves 15 joint theses. The candidate is encouraged to consider all of these projects, which can be found on the ITN-EJD website Please pay attention that to be eligible, on 1st October 2020, the candidate must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of her·his research career and has not been awarded a doctoral degree. On 1st October 2020, she·he must not have resided or carried out her·his main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the same country than the recruiting institution (in the case of the present offer, France) for more than 12 months in the preceding 3 years. Compulsory national service and/or short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

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