The selective extraction of monovalent metal cations from aqueous solutions have complex compositions is a key step in many energy-related fields. In this work, specific adsorbents for Cs, to decontaminate effluents produced by the nuclear industry, and for Li, to extract this strategic metal for the development of batteries, will be studied. Due to their modularity in terms of porosity and structure, crystalline oxides (as zeolites) are promising for the selective extraction of such cations. With a view to understand the role of their microstructure on their sorption/desorption performances and mechanisms, identify the selective sorption sites within these crystal structures is crucial.
For that purpose, the objective of this research work is, on the one hand, to synthesize crystal structures allowing the selective sorption of Cs or Li. Then, by using fine characterization techniques at the atomic scale as well as structures reconstruction effort, we will identify the location of selective sorption sites within these materials and, in this way, better understand their sorption mechanisms and properties.
For this post-doctoral position, we are looking for a PhD in material science with strong skills in synthesis and characterization of crystalline materials by X-ray diffraction. Experience in the study of crystalline oxides, such as zeolites, would be an advantage.