Date Posted
6 Apr 2017

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PhD Project

Activities and nucleation processes in the SiO2-CaO-H2O-Organics system

6 Apr 2017

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

A 4-years Ph.D. position is opening in the Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Carnot de Bourgogne (ICB UMR 6303 CNRS, Dijon), starting in Fall 2016, in close collaboration with the Institut des Sciences de la Terre (ISTerre UMR 5275 CNRS, Grenoble) and Empa (Zurich).

The PhD project aims at investigating the effect of small organic molecules on the nucleation and pre-nucleation processes of calcium silicate hydrate, C-S-H, the main cement hydrate. The work will involve the determination of the stability and characterization of organic/ions complexes as well as the study of the kinetics and the determination of the reaction path of C-S-H nucleation with and without organics.

The determination of stability and characterization of ion complexes in presence of organic molecules is expected to be a decisive step to understand the role of the latter on the nucleation process of C-S-H. They will be determined and characterized based on a combination of experiments (solubility, potentiometric, FTIR, Si-NMR and C-NMR measurements) and simulations (Debye-Hückel modeling, Monte Carlo simulations/primitive model). The C-S-H pre-nucleation and nucleation stages will be studied both in the homogeneous and heterogeneous case. This will involve measurements of the nucleation rates and induction times under controlled conditions and at various supersaturation degrees, by means of lab-based (titration set-up in combination with turbidity, conductimetry and DLS) and synchrotron-based experiments (SAXS and GISAXS in combination with a titration set-up).

The successful candidate will share her/his time between two CNRS institutes (ICB UMR 6303 Dijon, ISTerre UMR 5275 Grenoble) and the Swiss institute Empa (Zurich).
The present PhD project is part of Nanocem, a consortium of academic and industrial partners interested in fundamental research in cement and concrete, and the student will be expected to actively participate in international workshops. ICB (Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comté), Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Research) and ISTerre (Univ. Grenoble Alpes) are among the leading research institutes in cement chemistry and geochemistry and have well equipped research laboratories.

Expected skills of the candidate:
We are looking for a student with a master in Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Materials Science, Earth Sciences, or related fields, with proficient spoken and written English level. A strong background in materials science and/or inorganic chemistry and excellent skills in the design and operation of experimental set-ups are an advantage. If you are motivated to perform scientific studies in well-equipped laboratories and enjoy working in an interdisciplinary environment, then you are the person we are looking for. The successful candidate will develop a characterization program to following the kinetics of cement hydration in the presence of simple organic molecules. The position is offered as a fixed term appointment of 4 years with a start date in the fall of 2016.

How to Apply

For further information please contact Christophe Labbez (+33 38 039 61 76) , Alejandro Fernandez-Martinez, (+33 47 663 51 97), or Barbara Lothenbach, (+41 58 765 47 88), Applications should be accompanied by a short CV and university certificates. Please send your application by e-mail to: Dr. Christophe Labbez

Position Category: Chemical Sciences. Position Type: PhD Project. Position Tags: c-s-h, cement, growth, nucleation, organics, and synchrotron. Salary: €20'000 - €30'000.

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