Available PhD position for developing solid-state NMR approaches in mechanochemistry

Dear colleagues,
I would like to draw your attention to a PhD position for developing solid-state NMR approaches in mechanochemistry, which is available in my laboratory located at the Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry at RWTH Aachen University (Germany).
The project will focus on developing and applying solid-state NMR strategies in mechanochemistry, with a particular focus on unravelling the mechanism of organic reactions performed in ball mills and thus under very high pressures. We will explore the influence of pressure and mixing on molecular-recognition events, employing mostly 1H- and 19F-detected NMR strategies at fast magic-angle spinning (MAS). Besides developing solid-state NMR tools, for instance also for following such reactions by real-time within the NMR rotor, the influence of various mechanochemical input (pressure, shearing, mixing, etc.) on the reactions-of-interest from the field of organic chemistry and related to catalysis will be studied. Experimental results will be supplemented with computational modelling, e.g. molecular dynamics simulations. This project also comprises NMR method development to design and apply 1H- and 19F-detected NMR strategies at fast MAS to characterize solid materials. The project will be performed in close collaboration with Prof. Dr. Carsten Bolm (Organic Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University).
For more information please see below.
I would be happy if you could distribute the job offer to interested candidates.
Thank you in advance, stay healthy and all the best,
Thomas Wiegand
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Thomas Wiegand
Professor for Magnetic Resonance of Complex Materials and Catalysts

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion Mülheim a. d. Ruhr/
Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University

Worringerweg 2
52074 Aachen (Germany)

Room: 38B012
Phone: +49 241 80 26420
E-Mail: thomas.wiegand@cec.mpg.de; wiegand@itmc.rwth-aachen.de

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The Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (MPI CEC) in Mülheim an der Ruhr studies fundamental chemical processes for energy storage in chemical molecules. The research group of Prof. Dr. Thomas Wiegand at the MPI CEC and the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH Aachen University) is looking for an enthusiastic
Doctoral student (m/f/d) for developing solid-state NMR approaches in mechanochemistry The starting date is flexible; the temporary position is open from January 2023. We study catalytic processes in biology and chemistry by magnetic-resonance spectroscopy. We are employing and developing solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) approaches to unravel catalytic reactions (e.g. hydrogenation reactions), self-assembly phenomena in the context of phase separation and protein-nucleic acid interactions for instance in motor proteins fuelled by ATP hydrolysis. A central research theme is the analysis of weak chemical interactions at the heart of molecular recognition events, particularly noncovalent ones, using fast Magic-Angle Spinning (MAS) NMR. Very recently, we also explore the influence of mechanochemical forces, with pressure being the most important one, on organic reactions and on bond scission events in biomolecules. The lab located at the Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry at RWTH Aachen is equipped with NMR spectrometers up to 700 MHz and MAS experiments up to 100 kHz. Our vision is to develop unified concepts in catalysis bridging the gap between biology and chemistry.
Available topic The project will focus on developing and applying solid-state NMR strategies in mechanochemistry, with a particular focus on unravelling the mechanism of organic reactions performed in ball mills and thus under very high pressures. We will explore the influence of pressure and mixing on molecular-recognition events, employing mostly 1H- and 19F-detected NMR strategies at fast magic-angle spinning (MAS). Besides developing solid-state NMR tools, for instance also for following such reactions by real-time within the NMR rotor, the influence of various mechanochemical input (pressure, shearing, mixing, etc.) on the reactions-of-interest from the field of organic chemistry and related to catalysis will be studied. Experimental results will be supplemented with computational modelling, e.g. molecular dynamics simulations. This project also comprises NMR method development to design and apply 1H- and 19F-detected NMR strategies at fast MAS to characterize solid materials. The project will be performed in close collaboration with Prof. Dr. Carsten Bolm (Organic Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University). In addition, we also plan to expand our studies to biomacromolecules. For instance, bond scission events in nucleic acids upon ultrasonication as an alternative mechanochemical input will be studied.
Prerequisites Successful candidates should have a graduate science education in chemistry and a strong interest in spectroscopic techniques. The candidate should be highly motivated in NMR method development and application of NMR to mechanochemical research questions.   Our offer We offer an international, dynamic working environment in a renowned research institute, family-friendly jobs and flexible working hours. The salary is in accordance with the funding guidelines of the Max Planck Society for junior scientists. The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. If you are interested in working on challenging interdisciplinary projects in structural biology and materials science, please send your complete application with the reference code TW025 until the 15th of December, 2022 by e-mail to thomas.wiegand@cec.mpg.de. Your application should contain a curriculum vitae (CV) and the names of two professional references whom we may contact. We are looking forward to getting to know you! Encrypted data transfer is possible on the site Cryptshare.mpg.de. Further information regarding the data protection for applicants can be found on our webpage: https://cec.mpg.de/en/career/data-protection-information-for-applicants/