Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Kemiska institutionen (LTH)

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 45 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Subject description 

CO2 Fluidised Deep Eutectic Systems for Materials Processing.

This research project focuses on the use of novel “green” solvents to find more sustainable but cost-effective routes from feedstock to functional materials. Deep eutectic solvents (DES) have recently emerged as promising replacements for toxic organic solvents but have high viscosities. Fluidising DES with liquid CO2 will reduce their viscosity but also change the solvent properties. This PhD will study the solvent structures and properties of DES + CO2 in two systems: (1) sugar-based DES for lignin extraction, functionalisation and processing, and (2) halide-free DES for manufacture of catalytically active metal oxide nanoparticles. We will investigate solubility and solution states of lignin and metal species in novel DES+CO2 mixtures to develop anti-solvent precipitation routes to generate particles from these species dissolved in DES+CO2.

This recruitment is connected to the Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability (WISE, wise-materials.org). WISE, funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, is the largest-ever investment in materials science in Sweden and will encompass major efforts at Sweden’s foremost universities over the course of 10 years. The vision is a sustainable future through materials science.

Read more: https://wise-materials.org

Work duties

Experimental work will include characterization of DES/CO2 mixtures under high pressures, their phase behaviour, density and viscosity at different compositions, temperatures and pressures. NMR and wide-angle neutron scattering will be used to determine DES/CO2 solvent structures. Sugar-based DES+CO2 will be explored for lignin extraction from food-grade waste biomass and halide-free DES+CO2 for the synthesis of metal oxide nanoparticles by antisolvent precipitation, a low energy preparation route. Lignin will be characterized using chromatographic methods and mass spectrometry, and nanoparticles of lignin or inorganic oxides will be studied using SAXS, electron microscopy and other materials characterization techniques. The work will also require travel to use neutron and synchrotron X-ray scattering facilities in the UK and Europe.

All early-stage researchers recruited into the WISE program will be a part of the WISE Graduate School <https://wise-materials.org/research/graduate-school/>, an ambitious nationwide program of seminars, courses, research visits, and other activities to promote a strong multi-disciplinary and international network between PhD students, postdocs, researchers, and industry.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements 

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant: 

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

 

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in inorganic chemistry if the applicant has: 

  • at least 30 credits of relevance to the subject area, of which at least 15 credits from the second cycle and a specialised project of at least 15 second-cycle credits in the subject, or 
  • an MSc in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Engineering Nanoscience 

Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the programme.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Practical experience gained from research work in chemistry, including characterization of (bio)polymer solutions and/or inorganic materials.
  • Strong numerical skills and confident user of software for data analysis.
  • Confidence in handling and assembling scientific equipment.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following: 

Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study. 
An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems. 
Written and oral communication skills
Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.
 

Other assessment criteria:

  • Practical experience of working in a chemistry laboratory and safe handling of chemicals and equipment
  • Good numerical skills and ability to use software for data analysis.
  • Background knowledge of chemical analysis techniques, such as chromatography, mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction/scattering.
  • Knowledge of green chemistry principles and sustainability considerations is desirable.
  • Letters of recommendation from relevant persons/institutions

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment 
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

  • Motivation letter and Statement of purpose
  • Curriculum vitae
  • References (at least two)
  • Certificates evidencing met admission requirement
  • Certificates evidencing met assessment criteria

Eligibility
Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Type of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

 

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment April 2023 eller enligt överenskommesle
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/345
Contact
  • Professor Karen Edler, karen.edler@chem.lu.se
  • HR Admin. Mia Hedin, karen.edler@chem.lu.se
Union representative
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, kansli@saco-s.lu.se
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
Published 03.Feb.2023
Last application date 05.Mar.2023 11:59 PM CET

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