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Univ. Paris-Saclay

Sujet de stage / Master 2 Internship

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Hybrid aluminosilicate nanotubes as nanoreactors for photocatalysis

Contact: Pierre Picot, , pierre.picot@cea.fr, +33 1 69 08 99 82
A hybrid system consisting of a nanotube encapsulating a light-harvesting system in its inner cavity and a metallic catalytic center on its outer surface will be studied in the context of water photolysis.
Possibility of continuation in PhD: Oui
Deadline for application:22/03/2024

Full description:
In the context of energy-related issues, a great deal of research is focusing on catalytic systems with a small environmental footprint that work with solar energy.

We recently demonstrated the light-driven catalysis properties of an original composite system based on hybrid imogolites (OH)3Al2O3SiCH3. These systems are tubular nanocrystals whose hydrophobic inner nanocavity is capable of encapsulating and organizing compounds, in particular dyes. Under UV illumination, these systems can also efficiently photodegrade encapsulated molecules. The efficiency of this process is multiplied by 90 if gold nanoparticles are grafted onto the outer surface of the nanotubes.

Inspired by these results, the aim of this internship is first to determine whether encapsulation of a dye or mixture of dyes enables efficient transfer of photo-generated charges to metal nanoparticles present on the outer surface of nanotubes using photons in the UV/visible/IR range. This would ultimately enable the development of nanoreactors that can be activated by photons available in solar radiation, for catalytic reactions of interest (reduction of water, carbon dioxide, etc.).
In a second stage, studies will focus on recycling the dye(s) to obtain a sustainable system as in Grätzel cells.

For this internship, we're looking for a physical chemistry student with a sound knowledge of nanomaterial synthesis and characterization techniques, and good writing skills.

He or she will be trained in hybrid nanotube synthesis, dye encapsulation and radiation reactivity monitoring.
A bright, motivated student could pursue a phD on this subject.
Technics/methods used during the internship:
Inorganic synthesis, SAXS, cryo-TEM, IR and UVvis spectroscopy, gas measurements (µGC, ESI-MS)

Tutor of the internship


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