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Advertising division: IEK-11 - Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy
Reference number: Electrocatalysis/NAEC

Master Thesis “Homogeneous catalysis for Electrocatalytic Hydrogenation of organic molecules”

Electrocatalytic hydrogenation (ECH) of organic compounds is more beneficial when compared to conventional processes as external hydrogen-gas is not required and inherent hydrogen mass transport limitation is bypassed not by high pressure conditions but due to high proton mobility instead. Commonly, electrochemical hydrogenation is performed at the electrode interface (i.e. heterogeneously) either by the right choice of the electrode material or by the modification of a less active electrode with appropriate catalysts. Such strategy is often suffering from poor reproducibility and stability as surface investigations require tedious and very precise analytical methodology. Additionally, the parasitic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) dramatically decrease current efficiency of desired ECH. As an alternative, homogeneous catalysis with better intrinsic kinetic behavior can be applied. Such strategy i) pays less attention towards electrode material and its surface properties; ii) utilizes active hydride-species distributed in bulk solution that are formed from protons with no possibility for HER. During the master’s thesis, different homogeneous hydrogenation catalysts should be evaluated under electrochemical conditions first (e.g., upon using voltammetry techniques). The most active one will have to be tested in preparative synthetic ECH experiments to validate the scope of the protocol.

We offer...

... international team members with great expertise in the fields of electrochemistry and organic synthesis. High quality equipment for conducting experiments and analysis, readily adjusted to oxygen- and moisture-free conditions. Possibility to tune the topic of master’s thesis with regard interests and experience of the applicant.

We are looking for...

... motivated students with good understanding of the nature of organic transformations, with basic knowledge of physical and electrochemistry, who is craving to discover new phenomena and like to work in international teams (appropriate English skills are required).

Are you interested?

Please write a short mail with a CV and your transcript of records attached to Pavlo Nikolaienko (p.nikolaienko@fz-juelich.de).

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