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PhD position: High resolution AFM visualization of adsorption and desorption reactions at calcite-electrolyte and calcite-oil interfacePosted by: University of Twente
Posted date: 2018-Jul-04
At the University of Twente (the Netherlands) within the MESA+ institute for nanotechnology a PhD position is available aimed at understanding physico-chemical aspects of the interaction of carbonate minerals with complex aqueous and non-aqueous fluids. We are interested in growth, dissolution, wettability, and adsorption phenomena in the context of enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The position is embedded in a larger program in collaboration with an industrial partner that involves in total 5 temporary researchers in Twente.
The research goal of the Physics of Complex Fluids (PCF) group is to understand and control the physical and chemical properties of solid-liquid interfaces across multiple scales ranging from atomic scale adsorption processes to macroscopic chemical reactivity and wetting. The fundamental understanding that we generate is relevant to a variety of applications such as coating and printing technology, lubrication, (photo) catalysis, and oil recovery. To address the scientific questions we use a combination of experimental techniques including high resolution Atomic Force Microscopy, optical imaging techniques (confocal/fluorescence microscopy, interferometry, ellipsometry), Raman spectroscopy, microfluidics, (micro) rheology and various other analytical surface characterization tools.
The PCF group is part of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, which offers advanced characterization and fabrication tools on the nanoscale as well as a stimulating environment with more than 250 PhD students working on various aspects of nanoscience and technology.
Currently, we are looking for a PhD candidate:
"High resolution AFM visualization of adsorption and desorption reactions at calcite-electrolyte and calcite-oil interface"
Goal of this project is to obtain and use AFM molecular resolution imaging data to enable a better understanding and identification of mechanism of adsorption/desorption processes of ions and polar organic molecules on carbonate surfaces. Particular attention will be devoted to solve the true atomic structure of idealized model surfaces (calcite) and the natural calcium carbonates surfaces in variable electrolyte compositions, identification of precise adsorption sites of ions, lateral variations in ion adsorption (e.g. due to steps, defects) or CaCO3 crystallites polymorphs. The experiments will primarily be carried out at room temperature and then extended to elevated temperatures, which shifts the location of chemical equilibria and may therefore promote the adsorption/desorption of ions and hydrophobizing organic species. The second phase of this project will be devoted to high resolution imaging and 3D-interaction force mapping in ambient oil. First goal of this subproject is to identify the relevant interaction forces and the attraction of polar oil components to the solid surface in ambient oil. A second goal of these experiments is to identify whether thin water layers are present on the solid surface if the oil phase is saturated with water. If present, these films might also play an important role in the adsorption and binding of organic material to the rock.
For this position we are searching for an ambitious candidate with an MSc or MEng degree in experimental physics or (physical) chemistry. (Due to the highly physico-chemical character of the project, applicants with a degree in petroleum engineering will generally not be considered.) Ideally candidate already have practical experience in scanning probe microscopy. Considering the strongly collaborative nature of the project within the program, we are looking for a team player with good communication skills. Further information can be found on our website: www.utwente.nl/tnw/pcf or obtained by contacting Prof. Frieder Mugele (f.mugeleutwente.nl ) or Dr. Igor Siretanu (i.siretanuutwente.nl).
Due to the summer holiday it may take longer before you receive a response on your application.
Conditions of employment
We offer a very challenging fulltime position in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.
The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.
Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and 2000 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes MESA+ and MIRA. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.