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Funded PhD position available in the field of coordination chemistry in relation with heterogeneous catalysis

November 10, 2015

Co-supervision by Prof. Michel Devillers (UCL) and Prof. Carmela Aprile (Univ. Namur)

Research topic:

IMCN - Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences - UCLouvainCoordination chemistry approaches to enhance precursor-support interactions in catalyst preparation by playing with the hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance.

Context and domain of proposed research:

A 4-year Ph D fellowship is available in the frame of a large multidisciplinary research project (Concerted Research Project 2015-2020 – « PolarCat »)

  • with emphasis on fundamental aspects,
  • centered on a collaboration between several research teams of MOST (Molecules, Solids and Reactivity) division of UCL (E. Gaigneaux, D. Debecker, M. Devillers) and the laboratory of nanomaterials chemistry of Namur University (C. Aprile)
  • dealing with the control of the hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance in the preparation of heterogeneous catalysts

Focus of the PhD:

  • design, synthesis and characterization of coordination compounds of variable polarities (to be used as precursors), based on the transition metals of groups 4-5-6 and some post-transition elements such as Ga, Sn ,…
  • synthesis of inorganic supports with tunable polarities,
  • study and monitoring of the precursor-support interactions
  • catalytic applications in glycerol to solketal conversion or other reactions of interest


This research will be essentially organized as a collaboration between UCL (M. Devillers) and UNamur (C. Aprile) and will take place mainly at UCL in Louvain-la-Neuve. Starting date: ASAP.


  • Master in chemistry (or equivalent) – 5 years – obtained with honors (« distinction »)
  • With sufficient expertise in the field of preparation of coordination compounds and physico-chemical characterization of inorganic materials
  • The selected candidate will have to apply in parallel for the next FRIA call for PhD fellowships, as long as he/she will be eligible.
  • Good knowledge of French and/or English is required.


  • CV with academic notes and letter of motivation describing the adequacy with the wanted profile) should be sent to Prof. M. Devillers (michel . devillers @ uclouvain . be)
  • Deadline is December 31st but application should be sent ASAP as the project could start immediately.

From → job offer

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