Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - Individual Fellowships (IF). Ultrafast X-ray Spectroscopy in Biological and Chemical Catalysis Research Group

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    03/08/2018 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Spain, Madrid
    Fundación IMDEA Nanociencia

Our research group is focused on the development and application of advanced spectroscopic tools for the design of active catalysts for water oxidation, proton reduction, and methane to methanol production processes. Currently the development of artificial photosynthetic assemblies and biomimetic mimics of naturally methane oxidizing enzymes is of great interest, and has drawn significant attention by exploring molecular catalysts based on 3d transition metal complexes. However in spite of emerging design principles, there remains a lack of general understanding about the structure-activity/stability relationship.

In this regard, we are interested in the development of static and time-resolved X-ray based spectroscopic approaches, including X-ray absorption and X-ray emission spectroscopy, to elucidate critical catalytic intermediates in solution phase and upon immobilization on electrode surfaces at synchrotrons. Combined analysis of experimental data on structures, electronic configurations and spin states provide valuable information to understand the operation mechanism. Further selectivity is achieved through resonant XES or resonant inelastic X-ray scattering spectroscopy.

Synchrotron-based techniques employed in our group are complemented with laboratory-based spectroscopic methods such as Raman, Electron Paramagnetic Resonance and Atomic Force microscopy and involve the interplay of several disciplines including synthetic inorganic chemistry, electrochemistry, kinetics, and spectroscopy. 

The project will consist in studying artificial analogues of methane monooxygenase enzymes for dioxygen activation reactions through time-resolved X-ray absorption, emission and laboratory-based techniques with fs-ps temporal resolution.

The main objectives of the project will be to explore the light-induced intramolecular electron transfer dynamics and kinetics to generate the active species responsible for the insertion of oxygen atom transfer in organic substrates.

The focus of the project will be based on synchrotron-based X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopy including valence-to-core XES, resonant XES, pump X-ray/probe laser spectroscopy and optical transient absorption spectroscopy. These studies will in the long term be complemented with studies at the X-ray free electron lasers and table top high harmonic sources where femtosecond time resolution is possible.

The recruited postdoctoral fellow will assist in defining the study, writing the beamtime proposals, and carrying out the synchrotron and laboratory-based experiments, data analysis and interpretation.

Required Qualifications:

  1. Ph.D in chemistry, Physics or Biological Science
  2. Experience in synthesis of photo-catalytic complexes
  3. Some experience in X-ray spectroscopy is favored
  4. Strong analytical skills, written and verbal communication skills.

Candidates are invited to submit their Expression of Interest directly to Dr. Dooshaye Moonshiram (dooshaye.moonshiram@imdea.org) with subject MSCA-IF 2018 by the 3th of August 2018. The Expression of Interest should include a complete and updated CV with a brief description of the previous research and a motivation letter in ONE PDF file only.