Date Posted
11 Jun 2024

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PhD Project
University Grenoble Alpes (UGA), UMR5819-SyMMES (CEA/CNRS/UGA), Molecular Systems and nanoMaterialS for Energy and Health Lab

PhD Position (Idex-University Grenoble Alpes (UGA), Grenoble, France): Functional Block Copolymers (FunBCPs): Encoding Performances in Smart Active Layers for Next Generation Battery and Solar Cells

11 Jun 2024

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

Position Description

Starting in October 2017, a 36 months PhD position funded under the International Strategic Partnership program (ISP) of the “Initiative d’excellence” (supported by the French National research agency in the framework of the “investissements d’avenir” program (ANR-15-IDEX-02)) of the University Grenoble Alpes (in short, Idex-UGA) is immediately available at the UMR5819-SyMMES (CEA/CNRS/UGA) lab (Molecular systems and nanoMaterialS for Energy and heath) and in the Laboratory for Innovation in New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials (CEA-LITEN) in Grenoble, France. The search for candidates will continue until the position is filled.

Embedded within the ISP-Idex-UGA’s CHARTREUSE project, the PhD student will moreover benefit (through cross-fertilizing 10 weeks scientific (France->USA and USA->France) visits of PhD students In Philadelphia and in Grenoble) from an international collaborative research experience through the ongoing (2015-2020) French National Agency of Research (ANR)/National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) project REACT ( supported by NSF (PIRE-2015: graward # 1545884) and ANR (ANR-15-PIRE-0001), uniting teams of the University of Pennsylvannia (UPenn), CEA, CNRS, Grenoble Institute of Technologies (G-INP), ILL, Solvay, and University Grenoble Alpes (UGA) under the lead of its co-Principal investigators (Co-PIs): Prof. R.J. Composto, Prof. Z. Fakhraai, Prof. D. Lee (UPenn) and Dr. P. Rannou (CNRS/Idex-UGA).

Introduction and Context
The Idex-UGA’s CHARTREUSE project addresses contemporary key fundamental research challenges aiming to efficiently convert & store solar energy. It ambitions to trigger transformative scientific and technological breakthroughs to foster an energetic transition towards a de-carbonized 21st century’s economy by shifting paradigms through innovative solutions to preserve continuous access to reliable electrical power thanks to a smooth lab to fab implementation of its thin film Key-Enabling Technologies (H2020’s KETs). The cornerstone of CHARTREUSE is the cross-fertilizing “fusion” of knowledge & skills of internationally recognized French (Comue-UGA: UMR5819-SyMMES (CEA/CNRS/UGA) & CEA-Liten) & US (University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)/Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM)) teams joining forces through an International Strategic Partnership (ISP) for developing the multidisciplinary (chemistry, physics & nano-sciences/technologies) collaborative research project CHARTREUSE

Lead by co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs) Dr. P. Rannou (CNRS/SyMMES), Prof. R.J. Compoto (UPenn/LRSM) & Prof. K.I. Winey (UPenn/LRSM), the high risk high reward low Technology Readiness Level (TRL1-3) bilateral research program CHARTREUSE ambition along its 48 months duration is to design, synthesize, characterize, and give proof of concept demonstrations of hierarchically self-assembled Functional Block CoPolymer (FunBCPs) thin films for next generation PhotoVoltaic (PV) solar cells and safer by design Single-Ion Block CoPolymer Electrolyte (SIBCPEs)-based batteries. Enabled by this smart materials strategy jointly conceived by the Idex-UGA/UPenn team, CHARTREUSE’s core originality is intrinsically linked to its envisioned KETs: i.e. FunBCPs thin films. We aim here at producing a concise library of generic hierarchically self-assembling functional polymers which will efficiently encode critical functions for the societally & economically important field of photonics (Aim 1) and nanoionics/nanofluidics (Aim 2), opening doors towards better performing (i.e. beyond current state of the art) solar cells & batteries through disruptive innovations: i) Aim 1/Towards Better PV solar cells by improving the external power conversion efficiency of single-junction solar cells through a better photon management (harvesting) of the entire solar spectrum through their additive manufacturing enhancement with a new generation of a Luminescent Solar Concentration (LSC) waveguide technology, and ii) Aim 2/Towards safer by design & higher efficiency Solid Polymer Electrolytes (SPE)-based batteries by developing hierarchically self-assembling SIBCPE thin films efficiently encoding dimensionality (1D/2D/3D)-controlled ion transport through (macro)molecularly engineered precise morphologies

PhD project summary
This multi and trans-disciplinary (Macromolecular chemistry and Nano-Sciences/Technologies) 3 years PhD research project aims at mastering structure/properties correlations spanning across multiple length and time scales within hierarchically self-assembled functional soft matter to encode performances within the active layers of next generation battery and solar cells, thereby addressing aim 1 & 2 of the CHARTREUSE project. The PhD candidate will be in charge of the macromolecular engineering and synthesis (through controlled radical polymerization and click chemistry techniques) of Functional Block copolymers (FunBCPs). He/She will join two interdisciplinary teams active in the development of functional materials for energy and optoelectronic-oriented applications (e.g. batteries and solar cells). To develop his/her research project, the PhD candidate will benefit from state-of-the-art synthetic tools and characterization platforms available within the Institute of Nanoscience and Cryogenics (INAC) and Laboratory for Innovation in New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials (LITEN) both localized in Grenoble, France.

Eligible candidate: Skills and Qualifications
The PhD candidate should preferably hold a Master degree, or have a university degree equivalent to an European master (5 years duration) in polymer chemistry, organic chemistry or materials science, dealing with functional soft matter. His/Her profile should include a strong record in (multi-steps) synthetic organic chemistry, with hands on synthetic, purification and chemical characterizations skills, a demonstrated experience or (at least) knowledge in controlled radical polymerization (ATRP, NMP, RAFT) and click chemistry techniques being especially appreciated. Highly motivated and qualified candidates with solid academic background, good track record and experimental experience are encouraged to submit. The position is open to candidates from around the world. A demonstrated ability to perform independent work, to work across borders of (chemistry and physics) of functional soft matter, and excellent communication and writing (English) skills are equally important criteria with respect to academic qualifications and scientific merit for the selection of the PhD candidate.

Websites for additional job details: Additional information can be obtained by consulting the following institutional websites and homepages

UGA-EDCSV: UGA’s Doctoral School of Chemistry and Life Sciences of Grenoble

REACT’s website
ANR/NSF-PIRE project “REACT” :

Homepages of Co-PIs of the ISP-Idex-UGA’s project CHARTREUSE
Dr. Patrice Rannou (CNRS/Idex-UGA):
Prof. Russel J. Composto (UPenn):
Prof. Karen I. Winey (UPenn):

How to Apply

A single pdf application file should be directly addressed to both and . An eligible application will mandatorily include i) a (detailed) cover letter explaining the motivation of the candidate, ii) a Resume/CV, iii) a list of publications/patents/communications, and iv) contact information of two referees. For the latter point (iv), the applicant could alternatively arrange that at least two reference letters are sent directly to the contact addresses above. There is no deadline for the application. We encourage candidates to apply as soon as possible. The search for candidates will continue until the position is filled.

Position Category: Chemical Sciences. Position Type: PhD Project. Salary: €10'000 - €20'000.