List of Project Topics 3rd Call – APPLY NOW

If you are interested in applying for a I2:ICIQ Impulsion Fellowship to work on one of the project topics, please contact the main supervisor(s) and the project manager (info@iciq-impulsion.eu).

Catalytic activation of chemical feedstock

Reference:
ICIQ-CAT-2101

Name of the hosting group(s) & Group Leader(s):
Prof. Pau Ballester – Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren

Project Title:
Transition Metal Catalysts Containing Phosphorous Ligands Based on Calix[4]pyrrole and Resorcin[4]arene Cavitand Scaffolds

Description:
The design of artificial catalysts able to compete with the catalytic proficiency of enzymes is an intense subject of research. Despite the enormous progress experienced by synthetic methodology in the last decades, achieving analogous levels of reaction selectivity to the ones shown by biological systems using synthetic catalysts remains challenging. One promising approach to reduce this gap is the covalent merging of a catalytic center with the scaffold of a synthetic receptor-binding site.
We propose the synthesis of unprecedented chiral and non-chiral calix[4]pyrrole and resorci[4]arene phosphoroamidite and phosphonite cavitands. We also plan to use the synthesized phosphorous ligands in the development of highly selective transition metal catalysts.
Profs. Ballester and Echavarren are completely open to alternative project proposals related to the use of supramolecular synthetic receptors in the area of chemical catalysis. Ambitious project proposals from highly talented and motivated post-doctoral researchers with strong background in supramolecular chemistry and catalysis will be appreciated.

Reference:
ICIQ-CAT-2102

Name of the hosting group(s) & Group Leader(s):
Prof. Marcos García-Suero

Project Title:
New strategies for selective chemical modification of peptides and proteins

Description:
This project aims to develop new technologies for the selective modification of peptides and proteins at canonical aminoacids and applications thereof. We welcome candidates with strong experience in the field of protein bioconjugation that would like to develop an alternative, underexplored and radically different approach to existing methods based on candidate proposal and in the know-how of the Suero group in small-molecule functionalization.

Renewable energies from sunlight

Reference:
ICIQ-EN-2101

Name of the hosting group(s) & Group Leader(s):
Prof. Emilio Palomares

Project Title:
Efficient Silicon/Organic and Perovskite/Organic Solar Cells

Description:
The project aims to understand the processes occurring at the interface between silicon semiconductor or hybrid perovskite thin films and organic semiconductor films. Such processes are related to charge transfer, energy transfer, carrier losses, ionic accumulation and formation of internal electric fields. Upon increasing our knowledge of the above related processes we will start the fabrication of solar cells combining the mentioned materials in tandem configuration to achieve photocurrents and voltages that are capable to drive either water oxidation processes or CO2 reduction electrocatalysis using sun light.

Reference:
ICIQ-EN-2102

Name of the hosting group(s) & Group Leader(s):
Prof. Antoni Llobet

Project Title:
Renewable solar fuels generation based on light driven molecular redox catalysis

Description:
The research work to be developed is framed within the field of light induced redox catalysis with MOLECULAR transition metal complexes with a special focus on the water oxidation and CO2 reduction processes.
The overall objective is to develop powerful MOLECULAR catalysts that can be anchored on photoanodes and photocathodes to improve their overall performance. The final goal is to build a photoelectrochemical cell for the generation of solar fuels.

Reference:
ICIQ-EN-2103

Name of the hosting group(s) & Group Leader(s):
Prof. Julio Lloret FillolProf. Emilio Palomares

Project Title:
Development of Photo(electro)catalysts for CO2 Conversion to C2+ Products

Description:
The research project will focus on developing catalysts based on covalent organic frameworks, C3N4, and conductive nanomaterials for (photo)electrochemical CO2 reduction to C2+ products.We will rationally design and synthesize the reticular materials containing well-defined catalytic sites hybridized with C3N4 as light-harvesting semiconductors. The new materials will be employed to functionalize gas diffusion electrodes and the catalytic activity and selectivity optimized under (photo)electrochemical conditions (H-cell configuration), pursuing beneficial synergies with light. The best performing catalytic electrodes will be studied under relevant industrial conditions using flow cells (in liquid and gas phase).The CO2 reduction mechanism will be studied by electrochemistry, impedance spectroscopy, spectroelectrochemistry, and advanced spectroscopy.

Reference:
ICIQ-EN-2104

Name of the hosting group(s) & Group Leader(s):
Dr. Elisabet Romero

Project Title:
Design of Bio-Inspired Systems for Solar Energy Conversion to Fuel

Description:
The motivation for this Project is the need to face the global challenge of achieving a renewable energy supply towards a sustainable future.
The candidate will develop a new generation of solar-energy conversion systems based on the design principles of Photosynthesis, the most advanced one being the utilization of coherence (Romero, Nature, 2017).
The work will consist on the design, construction, and investigation of chromophore-protein assemblies capable to perform efficient and ultrafast energy and electron transfer processes.
The static and dynamic properties of these assemblies will be studied by several methods, with a strong focus on spectroscopic techniques [time-resolved: Two-Dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy (2DES), Transient Absorption, Time-correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC); steady-state: Absorption, Fluorescence, Linear and Circular Dichroism, Stark, Raman, FTIR, Fluorescence Line-Narrowing].
The optimized systems will be integrated into solar cells to generate electricity and, later coupled to catalysts (developed by collaborators) to achieve cost-effective solar-energy conversion to fuel.

Reference:
ICIQ-EN-2105

Name of the hosting group(s) & Group Leader(s):
Dr. Elisabet Romero

Project Title:
The Role of Coherence in Enhancing the Efficiency of Photosynthesis

Description:
Photosynthesis is the biological process whereby the Sun´s energy is collected and stored by a series of events that convert this energy into the biochemical energy needed to power life. During the last decade, growing evidence points to the key role of coherence in determining the high efficiency of light harvesting and charge separation in Photosynthesis owing to the fact that coherence provides directionality, speed and efficiency to energy and electron transfer processes.
Within this Project, the Postdoctoral researcher will address the question: “Is Photosynthesis utilizing coherence to achieve its amazing efficiency?” by investigating light harvesting and charge separation processes in a series of natural and genetically-modified photosynthetic complexes.
The static and dynamic properties of these complexes will be studied by spectroscopic techniques [time-resolved: Two-Dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy (2DES), Transient Absorption, Time-correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC); steady-state: Absorption, Fluorescence, Linear and Circular Dichroism, Stark, Raman, FTIR, Fluorescence Line-Narrowing].