Are you passionate about creating a sustainable future through innovative research in polymer materials? The Polymer Performance Materials group at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven is seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate to join our team in developing novel thermosetting and high-performance polymers that are amenable to continuous re-use and recycling.One PhD position
In polymeric materials, a fundamental transition is required from synthesis out of fossil-based feedstock and one time use to continuous re-use and recycling of polymeric products. Most of the plastics that is recycled currently goes through mechanical and thermal processing to re-make other plastic products, e.g., thermoplastics such as PE, PP, PET. Thermosetting plastics and resins cannot be easily chemically or mechanically recycled. Chemical recycling for instance requires much energy and harsh reaction conditions, and creates an inseparable mixture of oligomers.
In this project, the focus of the research will be on existing polymers as well as designing and synthesis of novel thermosetting and high-performance polymers more amenable to recycling, including smart new monomers that can switch between polymerized and depolymerized states, using energy efficient processes. The key is incorporation of suitable degradable functional groups or smart monomers into the polymers in their design stage ('design for recycling'' approach). The research will include the design and synthesis of new monomers including the use of bio-based raw materials, preparation of polymers and elucidation of structure-property relationships, chemical depolymerization, separation and recovery of building blocks and proof of concept for 'closed-loop' recycling. The research activities will include understanding of performance profile of new materials and elucidation of structure property relationships by means of various chemical, structural, rheological and mechanical characterization techniques. Research group
The PhD research will be carried out under the supervision of Prof. Željko Tomović in the Polymer Performance Materials group in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at the TU/e, which is also the part of the interdisciplinary Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS), in which all polymer-related research groups at the TU/e participate. A description of the group can be found here: https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/polymer-performance-materials
The TU/e offers academic education that is driven by fundamental and applied research. We combine scientific curiosity with a hands-on mentality. Our educational philosophy is based on personal attention and room for individual ambitions and talents. Our research meets the highest international standards of quality. We push the limits of science, which puts us at the forefront of rapidly emerging areas of research.