PhD Position on Surface Characterization of Zeolite
Institut Français du Pétrole






Zeolites are crystalline aluminosilicates with 3D structures composed of silicon and aluminum atoms and could be potentially assimilated to ideal catalytic microreactors. However, the presence of surface defects, extra-framework species in the microporosity and residual cations in exchange position due to the synthesis, post treatment, active phase introduction or after zeolite shaping, could lead to a more complex situation. Acidic properties determined from XRD, NMR (Si/Al ratio) or thermodesorption techniques represent a global information, while i) a single crystal may report Al zoning and ii) nonequivalent crystals could be present in a same synthesized batch. Acid sites distribution is not homogeneous and could deeply impact the catalysis either in conversion, selectivity or in deactivation.

In this thesis, we propose to perform chemical mapping of zeolite crystal surface by using an emerging nano-spectroscopic technique : atomic force microscopy infrared spectroscopy (AFM-IR), which allows to achieve spatial resolutions down to 10 nm. It implies a substantive work on sample preparation and also on the optimization of AFM-IR analytical conditions. AFM-IR spatially resolved analysis combined to results obtained from global techniques will be correlated to the catalytic performances in model reaction. It will help in the understanding of zeolite catalytic reactivity.

Sample preparation and conventional analysis will be performed at IFPEN – Lyon, while AFM-IR analysis will be done in the Laboratoire Chimie Physique – Orsay.


Offer Requirements

    Chemistry: Master Degree or equivalent
    Physics: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent
    FRENCH: Excellent


University Master degree or Engineering school in chemical and/or physical sciences + knoàwledges in vibrationnal spectroscopy will be appreciated

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