ESR 6: Development of icephobic coatings of thin organic polymers using Initiated chemical vapor deposition

Graz University of Technology, Graz (Austria)

Supervisor: Anna Maria Coclite

Doctoral position

A 36-month doctoral position as an early-stage researcher (ESR) focused on the development of icephobic coatings of thin organic polymers using Initiated chemical vapor deposition is proposed within the framework of a Marie Skłodowska – Curie Innovative Training Network (MSCA-ITN) project “Smart surface design for efficient ice protection and control” (SURFICE), a project under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The candidate is required to be graduated of a Master’s degree  (or equivalent) in Physics, Chemistry or Material Science. Experience in the field of thin film deposition on surfaces and their structural characterization will be assessed for the selection of the candidate.

The project will be carried out at Graz Univeristy of Technology, Graz Austria (TU Graz, https://www.tugraz.at/home/), under the scientific supervision of Prof. Anna Maria Coclite (www.annacoclite.com). Secondments of 3-6 months at different MSCA-ITN partner institutions will be part of the project.

The ESR will be enrolled as doctoral Student of TU Graz, from which he/her shall obtain the PhD degree in Physics.

Job Description

The project will attempt to generate a new type of icephobic coatings based on polymer thin films deposited by initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition (iCVD). This method does not require a solvent which thus allows to easily obtain copolymers from monomers that have different solubilities, opening the door to versatile chemistries. A novel approach will be developed by using two chemistries (e.g. perfluorodecylacrylate and acrylamide, or alternative REACh compliant chemicals) and combining them in patterns or multilayer structures to reach a large range of wettability from low to high. Icephobicity on such surfaces will be tested during secondments.

The project will include different tasks:

Preliminary studies

  1. State of the art on discontinuity enhancement icephobicity.
  2. State of art on hydrophobic/hydrophilic coatings deposited by iCVD

Experimental developments

  1. Development of surfaces with a range of wettability from low to high.
  2. Analysis of wettability, morphology, mechanical and thermal properties.
  3. Combination of the coatings obtained in point 1 in patterns and multilayers.
  4. Analysis of wettability, morphology, mechanical and thermal properties.

Validation

  1. Development of prototypes
  2. Testing in an icing-wind tunnel and confrontation of experimental data with theoretical results.

Two secondments are planned during the PhD programme. Plans are subject to change because of possible mobility reduction due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Your profile

  • Candidates should have recently obtained a Master’s degree in Physics, Chemistry or Material Science with outstanding grades.
  • Excellent knowledge of physics of soft matter and surface science
  • Strong experimental background in thin film deposition on surfaces and their structural characterization
  • You have a talent for conceiving experimental hypothesis and can realise them in a target-oriented manner
  • Language skills: ENGLISH: Excellent.

Institution address

Institute of Solid State Physics, Graz University of Technology, Petersgasse 16, 8010 Graz, Austria.

Important dates

Expected starting of the working contract: 01.06.2021 or by agreement. We look forward to receiving your application until 31st March 2021.

Application process

By e-mail to anna.coclite@tugraz.at and recruitment@surfice-itn.eu, including the application form and others documents given in the general information. This information also gives the ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, the application requirements and the selection process.

For questions and further information on the position, please contact Prof. Anna Maria Coclite.