Postdoctoral position for heterogeneously catalyzed activation of C-H Bonds KU Leuven University, Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis (Prof. Dr. Dirk De Vos) Belgium



(Ref. BAP-2017-208)


Employment: Full-time


Duration: Limited period


Place: Leuven


Apply to: 30/06/2017


A postdoctoral position in the field of heterogeneously catalyzed C-H activation for organic synthesis is available at the Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis (Prof. Dr. Dirk De Vos), KU Leuven University, Belgium.




The Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis (COK) focuses on the design, characterization and application of nanostructured and nanoporous materials mainly for adsorption and catalysis. The De Vos group mainly works in the field of MOFs (for catalysis) and sustainable transformation of protein waste streams. Besides there is a broad expertise in ionic liquids, adsorption and various heterogeneously catalyzed reactions.



The main goal of this project is the design, and characterization of hybrid single-atomPd(II) catalysts for C-H coupling reactions, e.g. C-H/C-H coupling of arenes or the oxidative alkenylation of arenes. In case of success, this constitutes to a significant step toward the more sustainable production of fine chemicals. This postdoctoral position is part of a large European Horizon 2020 project, in which world leading groups and companies for C-H activation, heterogeneous catalysis and scale-up are participating. Frequent project meetings as well as academic exchange and intense collaboration are beneficial for the successful candidate. Besides, the successful candidate will assist in reporting for the project. The framework of this project allows for excellent science to be done!


This challenging position requires and trains a broad range of skills. There will be an initial period, in which homogeneous reactions are performed to have a detailed understanding of the reaction. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) or eventual related materials will be synthesized that resemble the characteristics of the most promising homogeneous system and palladium will be introduced into these MOFs to perform the C-H activation reaction heterogeneously. The aim of the project is to identify a catalyst, that provides high stability and minimal leaching of palladium species. After such a catalyst has been found, structure-activity relationships will be elucidated by detailed characterization of the solid.


Especially in the beginning of the appointment, the successful candidate will have all possible support in starting up by his colleagues and especially the team working on this H2020 project in Leuven. However, a high degree of scientific freedom and possible collaboration with many colleagues is definitely available.Standard characterization techniques (XRD, N2-physisorption, SEM,FTIR, …) are available within the group for fast progress of the project. For more advanced techniques, such as XPS or TEM, a strong network is available that allows for facile access to these techniques. Reactions can be performed in small reactors that allow for performing several reactions simultaneously. Besides, the laboratory is well-equipped for performing a broad range of catalytic reactions.




We are looking for an outstanding researcher that has completed his PhD with on an original topic with good scientific output. A prior postdoctoral appointment is not needed, although very welcome. Because of the breadth of the project, we are looking for researchers with a rather broad background and more specialized knowledge in one of the following fields: organic synthesis, homogeneous catalysis (palladium chemistry, oxidation chemistry, C-H activation),heterogeneous catalysis for fine chemicals, metal-organic framework or characterization of porous solids. The applicant should however be interested in all aspects of the project and will easily catch up on points in which he is less experienced. We expect the applicant to be innovative, proactive, highly smart and passionate for science. Good organizational skills are further required.




The postdoctoral appointment will initially last for one year, with an option of extension for up to two further years.




Please send your application to Dirk De Vos ( and Patrick Tomkins (, in cc) with a short motivation letter and your CV.


You can apply for this job no later than June 30, 2017 via the 


If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


All Jobs







Uni Anu

Uni Copenhagen

Uni Gothenburg

Uni Kuwait

Uni Laval

Uni Nus Singapore

Uni Seoul

Uni Simon Fraser

Uni Tcd

Uni Tokio

Uni Unsw