Development of Polyethylene and Polypropylene Vitrimers Postdoctoral Position Molecular, Macromolecular Chemistry and Materials Laboratory, ESPCI Paris TotalEnergies Research & Technology Feluy, Belgium

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The Molecular, Macromolecular Chemistry and Materials (C3M) and TotalEnergies are pleased to announce a postdoctoral position in polymer science. The project will focus on the upscaling of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) vitrimers prepared by reactive processing of their parent thermoplastics. The chemical, physico-chemical and mechanical properties of the vitrimers will be characterized in details as well as their flow properties. The recyclability of the vitrimers will also be evaluated along with the possibility to transform recycled PE and PP into vitrimers. The HSE aspects, including product safety of the additives selected to produce PE and PP vitrimers will be investigated. The project will be conducted at the TotalEnergies Research & Technology Center located in Feluy, Belgium.

Laboratory Description
The Feluy Research Centre located in Belgium is the largest R&D Centre of TotalEnergies Refining and Chemicals branch. More than 300 researchers, endowed with both experience and technical skills, focus daily on identification and development of new technologies and processes while preparing for their production launch on industrial platforms.
Flagship research projects include developing new polymers, making plastic recycling possible and cost-effective, and reducing our environmental footprint.
The polymer R&D laboratories study all mechanisms linked to polymer production to better master the relationships between polymer structure, performance and properties through catalysis, process, transformation (extrusion) and recycling. Numerous tools and equipment from lab to semi-industrial scale are available for polymer synthesis, transformation, characterization and evaluation. Computational Science and Engineering approaches are developed.

Knowledge and skills
Applicants should have a very strong background in polymer science at large, and in particular a solid experience in polymer chemical modification and/or in polymer physicochemical and mechanical characterization. An interest on all these aspects of polymer science as well as in experimental work are required. Good skills for collaborative work are also sought.

Key words :
Vitrimers, reactive processing, polymer chemical and thermo-mechanical characterization, flow properties, experimental work.

References :
1 - Van Zee, N. J. ; Nicolaÿ, R. Prog. Polym. Sci. 2020, 104, 101233 ; DOI : 10.1016/j.progpolymsci.2020.101233
2 - Röttger, M. ; Domenech, T. ; van der Weegen, R. ; Breuillac, A. ; Nicolaÿ, R. ; Leibler, L. Science 2017, 356, 62 ; DOI : 10.1126/science.aah5281
3 - Caffy, F. ; Nicolaÿ, R. Polym. Chem., 2019, 10, 3107 ; DOI : 10.1039/C9PY00253G
4 - Breuillac, A. ; Kassalias, A. ; Nicolaÿ, R. Macromolecules, 2019, 52, 7102 ; DOI : 10.1021/acs.macromol.9b01288
5 - Maaz, M. ; Riba-Bremerch, A. ; Guibert, C. ; Van Zee, N. J. ; Nicolay, R. Macromolecules 2021, 54, 2213 ; DOI : 10.1021/acs.macromol.0c02649

Recruitment terms
Principal Investigators : Pr. Renaud Nicolaÿ, Dr. Martine Slawinski and Dr. Nathan Van Zee
Period : from September-October 2021 – December 2022
Duration : 15 Months
Location : TotalEnergies Research & Technology Feluy, Belgium
Salary : The salary will be adjusted to candidates’ background and expertise

Potential candidates are asked to submit their CV and provide contact information for two to three references.

Contacts :
Renaud Nicolaÿ ( and Nathan Van Zee (

Chimie Moléculaire, Macromoléculaire, Matériaux
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