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PhD in Dynamic Polymer Chemistry

We are looking for a highly motivated and ambitious PhD student with a background in materials chemistry to start a PhD project on the design, synthesis and …

bijna 4 jaar geleden


Droevendaalsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur


We are looking for a highly motivated and ambitious PhD student with a background in materials chemistry to start a PhD project on the design, synthesis and characterization of smart, dynamic polymer materials. This project is part of the research program entitled "4D control over smart dynamic polymers", supervised by Dr. Maarten Smulders, and for which he was awarded a NWO VIDI grant. The project will be carried out in close collaboration with a second PhD student and a postdoctoral researcher.
The major theme of the VIDI program is to design dynamic polymer materials with so-called smart properties, such as materials that are self-healing, shape-transforming, malleable or recyclable. To achieve this dynamic response, a still relatively new class of reversible bond will be employed: the dynamic-covalent bond. This bond combines the robustness of a conventional covalent bond with the reversibility of non-covalent bonds. When integrated into polymer materials, this will lead to mechanically strong, yet still adaptive materials with desired smart properties. While the potential of dynamic-covalent bonds in polymer materials science becomes more acknowledged, the possibility of bottom-up design of functional dynamic polymers still remains underexplored.
In this project, the aim is firstly to incorporate (metal-stabilized) dynamic-covalent imine bonds into polymer networks. Subsequently it will be established how the dynamic properties of the continuously exchanging imine bonds can lead to a polymer with dynamic, smart material properties. Furthermore, a range of parameters that can be used to control these material properties will be explored. Ultimately, based on the thus obtained insights, new functional dynamic polymer materials will be designed, synthesized and characterized. Initially, the design will be focused on self-healing and shape-transforming polymer materials.


The candidate requires an MSc degree in Chemistry, Materials Science or Molecular (Life) Science. A strong background and hands-on experience in organic chemistry as well as a strong interest (or preferentially experience) in polymer chemistry and characterization is essential. Experience with (dynamic) mechanical analysis of polymer materials is desired. Furthermore, you should be a team player with good written and oral communication skills in English.


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 € 2266 in the first year rising up to € 2897 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. More information can also be found on www.smulderslab.nl and www.orc.wur.nl.
For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact Mrs. Nicole de Vries (HR advisor), e-mail nicole.devries@wur.nl, telephone number +31 317 485 677 .

You can apply online at www.wur.nl/en/Jobs/Vacancies.htm. The vacancy is open until August 31, but candidate selection will start from August 3 onwards on the basis of all applications received until then.