Impact of small organic molecules on the nucleation of calcium silicate hydrate ISTerre UMR 5275 CNRS, Grenoble) and Empa (Zurich). - The successful candidate will share her/his time between two CNRS institutes (ICB UMR 6303 Dijon, ISTerre UMR 5275 Grenoble) and the Swiss institute Empa (Zurich).

Organic additives are commonly used in the concrete industry to improve workability. The
presence of organics generally also retards cement hydration, both the dissolution of
cement clinker and the nucleation/growth of cement hydrates. The physical and chemical
mechanisms responsible for the change in reactivity in presence of such organic additives
are presently poorly understood.
The PhD project aims at investigating the effect of small organic molecules on the
nucleation and pre-nucleation processes of calcium silicate hydrate, C-S-H, the main
cement hydrate. The work will involve the determination of the stability and
characterization of organic/ions complexes as well as the study of the kinetics and the
determination of the reaction path of C-S-H nucleation with and without organics.
Details:
The determination of stability and characterization of ion complexes in presence of organic
molecules is expected to be a decisive step to understand the role of the latter on the
nucleation process of C-S-H. They will be determined and characterized based on a
combination of experiments (solubility, potentiometric, FTIR, Si-NMR and C-NMR
measurements) and simulations (Debye-Hückel modeling, Monte Carlo
simulations/primitive model). The C-S-H pre-nucleation and nucleation stages will be
studied both in the homogeneous and heterogeneous case. This will involve
measurements of the nucleation rates and induction times under controlled conditions and
at various supersaturation degrees, by means of lab-based (titration set-up in combination
with turbidity, conductimetry and DLS) and synchrotron-based experiments (SAXS and
GISAXS in combination with a titration set-up).
Location/organisation:
The successful candidate will share her/his time between two CNRS institutes (ICB UMR
6303 Dijon, ISTerre UMR 5275 Grenoble) and the Swiss institute Empa (Zurich).
The present PhD project is part of Nanocem, a consortium of academic and industrial
partners interested in fundamental research in cement and concrete
http://www.nanocem.org/, and the student will be expected to actively participate in
international workshops. ICB (Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comté), Empa (Swiss Federal
Laboratories for Material Research) and ISTerre (Univ. Grenoble Alpes) are among the
leading research institutes in cement chemistry and geochemistry and have well equipped
research laboratories.
Expected skills of the candidate:
We are looking for a student with a master in Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry,
Materials Science, Earth Sciences, or related fields, with proficient spoken and written
English level. A strong background in materials science and/or inorganic chemistry and
excellent skills in the design and operation of experimental set-ups are an advantage. If
you are motivated to perform scientific studies in well-equipped laboratories and enjoy
working in an interdisciplinary environment, then you are the person we are looking for.
The successful candidate will develop a characterization program to following the kinetics
of cement hydration in the presence of simple organic molecules. The position is offered
as a fixed term appointment of 4 years with a start date in the end of 2016 or beginning of
2017.
Contacts:
For

Date de publication :  6 Novembre 2016
Lieu :  The successful candidate will share her/his time between two CNRS institutes (ICB UMR 6303 Dijon, ISTerre UMR 5275 Grenoble) and the Swiss institute Empa (Zurich).
Document : 
Job advertisement PhD organics 2016.pdf

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