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EOI Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions: Postdoctoral Researcher - Nanostructured Functional Materials group

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The mission of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) is to achieve the highest level of scientific and technological excellence in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Its research lines focus on the newly-discovered physical and chemical properties that arise from the behavior of matter at the nanoscale. ICN2 has been awarded with the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence distinction for two consecutive periods (2014-2018 and 2018-2022). ICN2 comprises 19 research groups, 7 technical development and support units and facilities, and 2 research platforms, covering different areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Please note that this is not a job offer. This is a call for expressions of interest from excellent postdoctoral researchers to apply for a Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship with ICN2 as host institution. The process involves developing a joint application between candidate and host institution. Specifically, we are inviting expressions of interest for the following research group and project.

DESCRIPTION OF HOST RESEARCH GROUP

Host group: Nanostructured Functional Materials group

Group Leader: Daniel Ruiz-Molina
Fellowship supervisor: Claudio Roscini

The Nanostructured Functional Materials group (NANOSFUN, https://nanosfun.com/) is a research group of ICN2 that focuses on the research and development of novel molecular and polymeric functional nanomaterials. On the one hand, the group is involved in the design and synthesis of nanomaterials for biomedicine applications. For these, nanoparticles, nanocapsules or films are designed and obtained using biocompatible and bioinspired materials. These nanostructures are prepared to improve the delivery of drugs, allow tunable release profiles (controlled by diffusion, particles degradation or an external stimulus, such as temperature, pH or light), enhance the crossing of biological barriers and increase the in-vitro and in-vivo optical imaging properties. On the other hand, NANOSFUN is working on developing novel energy-efficient devices based on chromogenic and emissive materials. Light, pH and temperature-responsive films, cellulose papers, paints and inks are used to obtain organic light-emitting devices, dynamic light filters (for their use in smart windows, ophthalmic glasses, etc.), rewritable devices, and anticounterfeiting technologies, among others. In both areas, the group has developed deep experience in micro/nanoencapsulation of active ingredients, such as oils, dyes, fragrances, antimosquitos and, of course, drugs

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH PROJECT / TOPIC

Research area: Physics (PHY), Chemistry (CHE)

Project topic: Photo/thermoresponsive nanomaterials for the smart windows of the future

Transparent glassed surfaces represent the weakest point in buildings in terms of energy efficiency. This is because transparent surfaces, such as windows, allow a large amount of heat entering in the building in the form of solar irradiance, mainly as visible and near infrared radiation, during high intense solar light. This causes an increase of the temperature inside buildings and the consequent need of air conditioning systems, i.e. a major production of CO2 emissions. Researchers are thus developing new optical materials for smart windows able to modulate near infrared and/or visible sunlight transmission under user's control (electrochromic materials), or autonomously depending on the ambient conditions, such as temperature (thermochromic) or light intensity (photochromic). Current smart windows have already shown a promising 10% of energy saving. Nevertheless, materials/installation costs, scalability, slow responsiveness, degradation are limiting their use in commercial applications (e.g. skyscrapers, etc.).

The main objective of this project is to develop a novel approach based on photo/thermoresponsive nanocomposites that respond to low-energy radiation (near infrared, NIR), temperature and voltage, and modulate the sunlight transmission in the visible and/or NIR. The project spans over the preparation and characterization of all components of the nanocomposite: i) solid nanoparticles, ii) core-shell polymeric nanocapsules, iii) photothermal nanoparticles, iv) active dyes, and v) functional polymer nanocomposites.

CONTACT

Candidates may contact claudio.roscini@icn2.cat if interested in this opportunity.

Please send the following documents / information:

  • CV (max. 4 pages)
  • Letter of motivation
  • Two referees

Please note that this is not a job offer. The process involves developing a joint application between candidate and host institution. Note also the following basic eligibility requirements established for these fellowships by the European Commission:

  • Candidates must be in possession of their PhD at call deadline
  • Candidates should have no more than 8 years' research experience after their PhD
  • Candidates must comply with the mobility rule, i.e. they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the call deadline.

For full details on eligibility, please see Annex 2 of Horizon Europe Work Programme 2021-2022.