One of the main projects of our laboratory (L2CM, Nancy, France) aims at the design of photoactive organic molecules and metal complexes or applications in photomedicine or photovoltaics. In this context, applications are opened for a postdoctoral fellowship position funded by the European FEDER project entitled “FireLight: Photoactive molecules and nanoparticles” to investigate the ultrafast excited state dynamics of these photoactive systems. More specifically, the research program will focus on (1) the investigation of ultrafast photochemical processes behind Z/E photoisomerization of bioinspired molecular photoswitches and (2) the determination of the excited state properties of photoactive metal complexes.
We offer a two-years postdoc position to work on the chemical to in vivo development of ICG-based phototheranostic nanoparticles as mentioned above. Within the frame of this project, both the physico-chemical (nanoparticles formulation, chemical and photophysical analysis) and the biological (in cellulo and in vivo phototherapeutic activities evaluation) aspects will be investigated. A good expertise in photochemistry/photobiology will be required and valued by combination with high expertise in chemistry, physico-chemical engineering, photophysics and cellular/small animal biological studies of L2CM and CRAN. As a postdoctoral researcher, you will be attached to both laboratories, which are located in Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, France. You will be supervised by Y. Bernhard at L2CM and H-P Lassalle at CRAN.
This thesis position will be dedicated to 1) the multistep organic synthesis of fluorescent dyes with aggregation induced emission properties and bearing a functionality to attach them to polymeric carrier, 2) the preparation of polymers with tailored properties (amphiphilicity, stimuli-responsiveness) and side-chain or end-chain functionality to attach the AIEgen-dye, 3) the evaluation of self-assembly properties and characterization of the formed nanoparticles at nanoscale, 4) the evaluation of photophysical properties of dyes, dye-polymer conjugates and dyes nanoparticles, 4) the exploration of properties toward in vivo applications (photothermal production efficiency, photoacoustic response). In the framework of this project, competences in organic synthesis, polymer synthesis, photophysics and physical-chemistry and associated characterization techniques will be developed. The project is focusing on a multidisciplinary research area of great interest in academia and truly represents an opportunity for highly motivated graduate students. The selected candidate will also have the opportunity to interact proactively with a network of collaborators and will have the opportunity to use modern synthesis and characterization tools.
The PhD project will aim at synthesizing heterogeneous catalysts based on abundant metals, whose key parameters will be optimized: (i) textural properties of the supports, and in particular the stabilization of a hierarchical porosity, (ii) oxophilicity / acidity of the surface, (iii) and fine characteristics of the metals (dispersion, localization and composition). Thus, silica supports with hierarchical porosities will be synthesized, modified by the introduction of different oxide phases (ZrOx, TiOx, AlOx, ZnO), and then the metal phases (Ni, Fe, Co and Cu) will be dispersed in a controlled manner on the surface of the pores to obtain single atome to clustered supported catalysts. These catalysts will be studied for the HDO of model oxygenated molecules (m-cresol, anisole and guaiacol) under moderate hydrogen pressures (2-4 MPa) before being tested on real lignin in a reaction micropilot (IC2MP partner). The properties of the catalysts (activity, aromatic yield, and stability) will be rationalized by DFT studies conducted on the adsorption of model oxygenated molecules, taking into account the effect of H2O, CO and CO2 inhibitors (LPCT partner). All these results will allow the description of the reaction pathway and the obtaining of key kinetic data in real conditions of reaction conducted over lignin (at LRGP partner).