Hydrogen represents one of the most promising energy resources in many sectors and applications because it makes it possible to produce electricity by reaction with oxygen and only release water.1,2 However, so that the associated carbon footprint respects the promise of clean energy, the production of hydrogen must be taken into account and minimize the production of CO2. In this perspective, the electrolysis of water remains the preferred route compared to the routes using fossil sources (methane reforming …). However, this path requires efficient electrodes to lower the energy cost associated with the production of H2 and the consumption of precious metals, which remain rare, expensive, and whose supply poses geostrategic problems.
The Institut Carnot Chimie Balard Cirimat has decided to fund a doctoral thesis, which will be carried out in two of its member units: IEM (Montpellier) and CIRIMAT (Toulouse). The goal is to develop new nanostructured electrodes associating nanoparticles of transition metals with three-dimensional carbon supports.
The envisaged strategy has three main parts:
– design, synthesis and characterization of catalytic nanoparticles (IEM, see a recent example3)
– preparation, consolidation and characterization of nanoparticle / nanocarbon electrodes (CIRIMAT)
– characterization of electrochemical performance (IEM).
Holder of a Master or engineering degree in materials science (or chemistry or physics of materials), the candidate will have knowledge in the development, characterization and properties of metallic and / or carbon nanomaterials as well as in electrochemistry. A good practical knowledge of the usual techniques for characterizing nanomaterials (electron microscopy, IR and Raman spectroscopy, X-ray scattering) is also desirable.
The doctoral student will be an employee of the National School of Chemistry of Montpellier and enrolled in the ED459 Balard Chemical Sciences doctoral school.
Please send CV and cover letter before June 18, 2020 to both contacts.
1 Plan Région à Energie Positive, https://www.laregion.fr/La-Region-a-energie-positive-un-cap-des-trajectoires-et-un-plan
2 Programmations Pluriannuelles de l’Energie https://www.ecologique-solidaire.gouv.fr/programmations-pluriannuelles-lenergie-ppe
3 R. Djara et al., Front. Chem. (2020, in press) https://doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2020.00385