This page contains 11 PhD proposals.
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  PhD proposal - ECLAUSion H2020 Cofund Marie Skłodowska-Curie
University of registration : Ecole Centrale de Lyon, RMIT
Doctoral School : ED 160 EEA de Lyon
Speciality: Functional material and biosciences
PhD title: 2D materials: from surface functionalization to integration into nanosensors
Research unit : INL
Thesis Directors : Pr Jean-Pierre Cloarec
Co-supervisor (Australia) : Dr Sumeet Walia, Dr Vipul Bansal and Dr Cesar Sanchez Huertas
Co-supervisor (France) : Dr Yann Chevolot

Funding type: COFUND Marie Slodowska Curie Action
This project is under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) program. There are no nationality conditions but the candidates must fulfill the MSCA mobility conditions, which means that she/he must not have stayed more than 1 year in France during the last 3 years immediately before the deadline of the call (31/05/2019)

Expected start date: 01/10/2019


Dr. Yann Chevolot
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+33 4 72 18 62 40

Prof. Jean-Pierre Cloarec
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+33 4 72 18 62 54

Pr. Sumeet Walia, RMIT
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Collaboration(s)/partnership(s) :

Background and scientific context : 2D materials such as phospherene black phosphorus thin layer) or Molybdenum oxide are envisioned to be used into nanodevices such as nanolasers or nanosensors. For example the band gap of phosphorene gap can be adjusted from 0.2 to 1.2eV. Therefore, its optoelectronic properties are expected to be easily tunable, thus providing a powerful versatility for creating new nanodevices. However the experimental integration of such material in sensors architecture, and experimental surface functionalization is currently reported only in a few articles. In order to concretize sensors involving such 2D materials, it is necessary to explore how to modify their surface chemistry, in order to graft molecular probes while preserving their optoelectronic properties.

Key words : 2D materials, phosphorene, Molybdenum oxide, surface functionalization, nanosensor

Thesis objectives  : 1) assess surface functionalization of new 2D materials for covalent binding of molecular probes ; 2) study how surface functionalization approaches modify optoelectronic properties ; 3) characterize the behavior of functionalized 2D materials embedded in chemical sensor architectures. Phosphorene would be the first material to be explored in such collaboration.

Scientific challenges : robust attachment of molecular probes on phosphorene, while keeping phosphorene stability. Relationship between surface properties and optoelectronic properties.

Expected original contributions : exploration of new 2D materials with tailored surface, electronic and/or optical properties. Possibility to embed such material into new systems.

Research program and proposed scientific approach :
RMIT would provide 2D material (e.g. phosphorene) samples under various conditions(e.g. exfoliation methods, various thicknesses) to INL. INL would study their surface functionalization, using classes of organic molecules already tested by RMIT, such as tetracyanoquinodimethanes or tetrathiafulvalene. The selected molecules to be grafted would bear additional additional chemical groups, to be used for further molecular conjugation. Functionalized 2D layers would be characterized by XPS, PM-IRRAS, ToF-SIMS, Raman, PL, AFM, SEM. Eventually, DFT molecular modelling will be used in order to investigate their behavior. Modifications of such surfaces will be explored in order to identify what conditions enable to stabilize phosphorene, while attaching model molecular probes (from simple chemical moieties to oligonucleotides).  
The influence of surface functionalization and further molecular conjugation on optoelectronic properties of the materials will be studied.

Scientific framework:

Thesis commitee description  :

Name, First name  Laboratory/Team  Scientific skills Percentage of supervision
Cloarec Jean-Pierre INL/Chemistry and Nanobiotechnology Surface chemistry %
Sumeet Walia RMIT - %
Chevolot, Yann INL/Chemistry and Nanobiotechnology Surface chemistry %

Thesis funding  : Co-Fund ECL/RMIT (ECLAUsion program)

Profile of expected candidate (pre-requisites) : The candidate will hold a MSc in material science. He(she) will like experimental work and be able to work at the inferace of chemistry and biology. He(she) will not have studied in France for more than 2 years over the last 3 years.

Objectifs de valorisation des travaux de recherche : Publications in peer-review international journals (minimum 2), conferences (at least 1 in France and 1 abroad). No constraints of confidentiality except if the results could be patented.

Skills developped during PhD : The PhD student will acquire skills in surface chemical functionalization, surface characterization (IR, XPS…), to write scientific publications. He will develop softskills in particular to work in an international environment, to lead a project…
Professionnal perspectives after PhD : As the project is at the crossroads of electronic, photonic, material science and chemistry, the student will develop broad scientific skills allowing for application industry or academic positions.

Bibliographic references on the PhD subject :

The I3E ECLAUSion project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801512