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PhD in Covalently bound Self-healing Polymer Brushes

We are looking for a PhD student (aio) on an NWO-funded project entitled "Nanostructured self-assembled functional materials" (NanoFun). This PhD position is part of large network of 4 universities and 6 companies that are involved ...

9 months

Conditions

Location
Bornsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Contract Type
Temporary
Hours Per Week
38 - 38 <span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing: en.vacancies.vacancy_details.hours">Hours</span>
Course Levels
<span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing: en.course_levels.wo">Wo</span>

Description

We are looking for a PhD student (aio) on an NWO-funded project entitled "Nanostructured self-assembled functional materials" (NanoFun). This PhD position is part of large network of 4 universities and 6 companies that are involved in a NWO-funded CHIPP project.

Ultrathin covalently bound coatings can be made to modify the underlying surface in a highly controlled fashion. To this end well-defined covalently bound polymer brushes (of 10-200 nm thickness) can be grown from a substrate, with a molecular structure that governs the coating's properties (e.g. wettability, chemical resistance or self-healing properties). Such brushes combine a series of properties, which are of great interest to a variety of applications. First, the covalent nature of the bonding allows formation of a chemically robust layer over prolonged use. The optimum attachment chemistry will depend on the substrate, but a wide variety of stable attachment chemistries is known. Second, the nature of the brush-forming materials can be varied significantly (from highly polar to highly apolar), and as such the properties of the surface can be tuned, almost at will when combining surface chemistry and organic synthesis. This combination allows for a tailor-made, stable surface functionalization.

The goal of this PhD project is to use controlled polymerization methods to prepare copolymer brushes onto polymer-coated steel. We aim to achieve this by synthesizing precisely defined monomers, and to use these for the growth of polymer brushes. Intrinsic to the growth process structuring of these brushes can be achieved (i.e. homogeneous, random mixtures, blocks or gradients of components), and we aim to use this to obtain tunable, rational design of functional/responsive coatings. In addition, we aim to convert previously discovered self-organization principles into scalable deposition methods, and in general: develop deposition methods that are scalable towards industrial use (dip or spray coating, printing).

Requirements

For this position we request that you have an MSc degree (or equivalent) in Organic Chemistry or Polymer Chemistry, or comparable curriculum. A strong background and solid hands-on experience in organic/monomer synthesis and a strong interest (or preferentially experience) in surface analysis and/or polymer chemistry is essential. Your affinity for the collaborative nature of the project, and good written and oral communication skills in English (minimally IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 90) are crucial for the successful development of this study.

Conditions

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month €2222,- in the first year rising up to €2840,- per month in the fourth year.

We not only offer a competitive salary but also good (study) leave and a pension of the ABP Pension Fund.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Maarten Smulders (assistant professor Laboratory of Organic Chemistry), e-mail maarten.smulders@wur.nl; or Prof. Han Zuilhof (Chair of Organic Chemistry), e-mail han.zuilhof@wur.nl.
For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact Mrs. Marjolijn Steffens (HR advisor), e-mail marjolijn.steffens@wur.nl, telephone number +31 317 485 677 .

Interested?
You can apply online at www.wageningenur.nl/en/Jobs.htm until 2 March 2018.

Company Description

The Organic Chemistry group (www.orc.wur.nl) constitutes a large, interdisciplinary research team involved in teaching and research on organic chemistry, with an emphasis on surface-based reactivity. The group aims to excel in the research and teaching of organic chemistry. The laboratory is extremely well-equipped with a unique set of analysis instruments for bio-organic materials and surfaces, and the group consists of around 20 PhD students and postdocs, a permanent staff of 7 technical employees, two part-time professors with external expertise, 6 assistant and associate professors and one full-time chair. In addition to this, the embedding within Wageningen University & Research adds ample biological input into our focus on chemistry-based bionanotechnology. Currently ca. 1700 students/year take part in one or more Organic Chemistry study elements provided by our faculty.

The Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group is part of Wageningen University & Research, an organisation that brings together fundamental and applied scientific research. We work on creating 'healthy food in a biobased society' with private sector companies, research institutes and government agencies in the Netherlands and abroad. Our innovations play a crucial role in solving the major issues which affect society today. Entrepreneurship and professionalism are key in all that we do. In short, we are a major international employer offering considerable potential for your career.

Wageningen University & Research
Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus - each and every day. Within our domain of good and safe food & food production, food security and a healthy living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society - such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don't do this alone. Every day, 5000 people work on 'the quality of life', turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

For further information about working at Wageningen UR, take a look at www.wageningenur.nl/en/Jobs.htm

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.