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Positions @ Ameloot Group

Temporary position open to fleeing Ukrainian scientists or professionals

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher or technical staff member to help develop a novel process for polymer sorting and recycling. The position will mainly consist of work in a chemical laboratory setting. The required training will be provided by an experienced researcher already working on the project. Contact Rob Ameloot for more information.

Research Domain: Chemistry / Materials science: Polymer recycling

Initial duration: 3-4 months

Postdocs

ERC POSTDOC POSITION: METAL-ORGANIC FRAMEWORKS IN CAPACITIVE CHEMICAL SENSORS

We are looking for a motivated postdoctoral candidate to develop a new generation of capacitive chemical sensors. Detecting and monitoring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is an important task with applications ranging from disease diagnosis via breath analysis to monitoring exposure to toxic chemicals. However, in all such applications, selectively measuring specific VOCs is challenging due to their low concentrations and the presence of a multitude of interfering compounds. Since current miniature sensors cannot efficiently distinguish between VOCs, there is a need for a novel technology capable of distinguishing a VOC of interest from a complex background.

This project will address this challenge by bridging the worlds of porous crystalline materials and sensor technology. For the first time, kinetic selectivity in the tailored nanopores of metal-organic frameworks will be leveraged to mimic nature’s approach to olfaction and enable selective sensing. You will focus on the integration of MOFs in capacitive gas sensors, working together with scientists and engineers with complementary expertise in materials synthesis, gas adsorption, the characterization of porous and crystalline materials, etc. More info about this ERC-funded project.

We are looking for a motivated candidate with a strong academic track record and a PhD in Physics, Microelectronics/Electrical Engineering, Materials Science or a related field in Science and Engineering. The candidate should have a passion for novel materials and technology, and willing to work as part of an interdisciplinary team. Previous demonstrations of out-of-the-box thinking. Bonus points if you consider yourself a 'maker' and practical problem solver, we appreciate what you are doing!

Please consider applying if you have several of the following skills:

  • Expertise in electrical characterization of dielectric thin films (required).
  • Experience with chemical sensor characterization and building test setups, including computer interfacing and data acquisition.
  • Expertise in working with impedance analyzers, lock-in amplifiers, source-meter units and other electrical instrumentation.
  • Experience in integrating new materials in microelectronics and general thin film characterization.
  • Cleanroom fabrication, including packaging and testing.
  • Mathematical analysis, including time- and frequency-domain data analysis.
  • Experience/interest in materials synthesis.

Apart from the posted positions, we are always on the lookout for excellent post-docs to apply for a prestigious Marie Curie fellowship together. Only experienced researchers can apply. This means you will have your doctoral degree or at least four years of full-time research experience by the time of the call deadline. Contact us well in advance to propose a topic! More info here and on the Horizon 2020 participant portal.

Research Management

No positions currently available

Technical staff

No positions currently available

PhD students

STUDYING POROUS METAL PHOSPHONATES VIA CRYSTALLINE AND MOLECULAR REFERENCE MATERIALS

We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate to study the synthesis and structure of porous metal phosphonates (PMPs). PMPs are a fascinating yet understudied class of hybrid materials. The exceptionally strong interaction of organophosphonate linkers to the metal nodes, especially for M(IV) centers (e.g., compared to M(IV)-carboxylates), yields robust materials that remain stable even under harsh conditions. The other side of the coin is that the strength of the M(IV)-O-P bond hampers synthesis control. Unlike for metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), the (partially) amorphous nature and diversity in chemical binding modes found in many PMPs challenge conventional analytical approaches.

To reach a breakthrough in understanding the structure of (partially) disordered PMPs, this project will develop an integrated methodology based on crystalline (i.e., MOFs) and molecular (i.e., metal-oxo-phosphonate clusters) reference models to correlate structural and chemical environments to analytical signatures. Several advanced characterization techniques will be used to analyze both these reference materials and a series of PMPs, with a focus on liquid- and solid-state NMR spectroscopy, XPS, and UPS. In parallel, novel synthesis approaches sourced from the broader field of MOFs will be developed to better control the formation of the PMP network structure. The focus will be on two novel approaches: stepwise growth and ionothermal synthesis. More information can be found here.

This vacancy is a joint PhD position offered between KU Leuven (Ameloot group) and UHasselt (Marchal group). The PhD position is part of a large network project involving 8 PhD students and 3 postdoctoral researchers at 6 Belgian universities. Through your tasks in the project, you will work with these researchers working in disciplines ranging from computation chemistry to catalytic technology.

Please consider applying if you have several of the following skills:

  •  Expertise in inorganic synthesis (required).
  •  Experience with NMR spectroscopy and the interpretation of spectra (required).
  •  Experience/interest in materials synthesis
  •  Experience with surface characterization techniques (XPS and UPS) is a plus but not required.

Master's students

Please visit the dedicated website and log in with your KU Leuven student account.

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