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Doctoral position at Ecole Polytechnique

Principle of operation

Each sensor in the array consists of a conducting network of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) directly ink-jet printed on Silicon between interdigitated electrodes. The MWCNT are functionalized in liquid phase by specific molecules (conjugated polymers) selected for their capability 1) to complex reversibly and selectively the target analytes, 2) to bound non-covalently with the MWCNT 3) to ensure efficient charge transfer between target analytes and MWCNT. When the device is exposed to water containing a mixture of various species, in the absence of functionalization, most species interact with the MWCNT-based devices. In the presence of functionalized MWCNT on the contrary, the devices respond selectively to the targeted analyte thanks to the functionalization.

Proposed research

The proposed PhD project will mostly focus on expanding the capability of the sensor array to selective heavy metal and pesticide detection. Toward this goal, the project will exploit new functionalization molecules developed within the team. After optimization of the (well-established) device fabrication protocol (MWCNT ink fabrication and ink-jet printing, wire bonding of chips) to account for the new functionalization, the core of the work will consist in extensive characterization of the sensor array in water and with various high resolution equipment (AFM, SEM, Raman, confocal microscopy, absorption and emission spectroscopies…). The main purpose will be to quantify the sensitivity and selectivity of the sensor array to the new target analytes (heavy metals and pesticides), throughout the life time of the sensors in water. To achieve this goal, the work will include advanced exploitation of characterization data, including via statistical software.

Application and deadlines

The successful candidate will have a strong background in material sciences, especially focused toward nanomaterials devices. Fluent English (written and spoken), high proficiency in technical writing and presentations. Autonomy, spirit of initiative, decision-makingskills, creativity, team working ability To be considered, applications must include detailed resume, motivation letter and all available grades for the current degree being prepared. Starting date: Adjustable. Ideally 2nd semester 2019

Bérengère LEBENTAL
berengere.lebental@polytechnique. edu