PhD in Plasmonic light-driven catalysis under dynamic conditions at VU Amsterdam

Heterogeneous catalysis is at the heart of numerous industrial processes, providing pathways for the sustainable production of chemicals, fuels, and materials. However, traditional catalysts often face limitations in terms of energy consumption and selectivity. The emerging field of dynamic catalysis presents a transformative solution by subjecting nanomaterial catalysts to rapidly changing temperatures and local reaction conditions at sub-second timescale.[1–3]

In this EU-funded project, you will explore an especially promising avenue for dynamic catalysis which combines plasmonic photothermal catalysts and pulsed light. By employing fs-ns pulsed illumination, you will efficiently convert light energy into high localized temperatures, initiating catalytic reactions that were previously impractical or inefficient under conventional conditions. This novel approach opens up possibilities for controlling reaction selectivity, increasing reaction rates, and reducing energy consumption.

The primary objective of this research project is to advance the fundamental understanding of pulsed photothermal catalysis and its application in various chemical conversion processes. You will have the unique opportunity to contribute to groundbreaking research that can transform the landscape of clean energy technologies.

1. A. Baldi, & S. H. C. Askes. Pulsed Photothermal Heterogeneous Catalysis. ACS Catal. 2023, 13, 3419.
2. M. Shetty et al. The Catalytic Mechanics of Dynamic Surfaces: Stimulating Methods for Promoting Catalytic Resonance. ACS Catal. 2020, 10, 12666.
3. Q. Dong et al. Programmable heating and quenching for efficient thermochemical synthesis. Nature 2022, 605, 470.

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