PD on polymeric materials using cyclic ketene acetals to induce reactive bonds

PD on polymeric materials using cyclic ketene acetals to induce reactive bonds

Published Deadline Location
30 Jan 28 Feb Eindhoven

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Job description

Are you passionate about combining organic and polymer chemistry to make novel, sustainable materials? Do you want to work in a multidisciplinary team to development scalable routes to cyclic ketene acetals (CKAs) and their controlled copolymerization with vinyl monomers to afford polymer backbones with labile ester bonds at defined positions that can either be mildly cleaved (degradable materials) or exchanged (covalent adaptable networks)?

Job Description

A grave consequence of the widespread use of plastics, combined with their high chemical stability, is an increasing pollution of the environment. A key challenge in addressing this widespread pollution, is the development of novel materials that combine strength and stability, while having the possibility of being repaired when damaged and/or reused so that they not need to be discarded. One option to achieve this, is the use of dynamic chemical bonds, which are bonds that can be broken and reformed on demand. In this project we aim to use ester bonds embedded in polyvinyl polymers via CKA chemistry. Dynamic networks will be prepared that are reprocessable and degradable, but also single chain polymeric nanoparticles that become degradable in complex environments. The position, the chemical nature and reactivity of the dynamic bonds are points of interest to be explored. CKA monomer synthesis in large quantities is the potential bottleneck in this project, which is why this project has a strong synthetic organic chemistry component.

Supramolecular Chemistry and Catalysis and Supramolecular Polymer Chemistry group

The PD position will shared between the groups of Supramolecular Chemistry and Catalysis (Prof. A.R.A. Palmans) and that of Supramolecular Polymer Chemistry (Dr. H. Heuts) at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. Both groups are part of the interdisciplinary Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). Our aim is to explore the exciting opportunities that arise from the integration of polymer chemistry, supramolecular chemistry and organic chemistry. Using this integrated approach, we focus on developing smart polymeric materials combining both dynamic non-covalent and dynamic covalent bonds, thus providing an additional and distinctive advantage for the development of smart polymeric materials that can be easily reshaped, reused, and broken down to the constituting parts. Hereto, we combine organic and polymer synthesis with detailed molecular, morphological and property characterization. Both groups strive to provide fertile environments to broadly educate young people, and to inspire them to excel in their scientific research careers.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • PhD in synthetic organic or polymer chemistry.
  • You have a strong background in the synthesis of small molecules and macromolecules. An interest in processing of materials is a pro.
  • You are a naturally curious person, eager to learn and to collaborate with researchers in a multidisciplinary setting.
  • You are a team player with good communications skills.
  • You like to work in an internationally oriented, social environment.
  • You are fluent in spoken and written English

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • A full-time employment for 2 years.
  • You will have free access to high-quality training programs for research and valorization,  professional development courses, and didactical courses of the TEACH training program.
  • Salary in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale 10 (min. € 3.557 max. € 4.670).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • Partially paid parental leave and an allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A TU/e Postdoc Association that helps you to build a stronger and broader academic and personal network, and offers tailored support, training and workshops.
  • A Staff Immigration Team is available for international candidates, as are a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) and a compensation for moving expenses.


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • V37.6289


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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