Research Engineer Recycling of plastics via reactive processing of thermoplastics

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Research unit  Molecular, Macromolecular Chemistry and Materials, UMR 7167 (
Address  10, rue Vauquelin 75005 Paris, France
Home institution ESPCI Paris (
Type of position Research Engineer
Supervisor Renaud Nicolaÿ (
Salary 1800 € / month
Start date As soon as possible
Duration 12 months

Candidates are asked to submit their CV and provide contact information for references to

Description of the laboratory :
The Molecular, Macromolecular Chemistry and Materials (C3M) is a CNRS mixed research unit at the ESPCI Paris, a grande école internationally recognized for its scientific excellence in training and research. The MMC laboratory works in close collaboration with industrial partners on research topics linked to the development of new fundamental concepts and applications. Its main areas of research include the development of synthetic methods to access architecturally complex molecules ; the design and study of structured polymeric and hybrid materials ; the design and study of stimuli-responsive functional systems ; supramolecular chemistry ; and the dynamic and mechanical study of polymeric-colloid formulations and composites.

Project description :

The world production of plastics reached 335 Mt in 2016. Between 2008 and 2016, an additional 90 Mt was produced, representing an increase of nearly 40% in less than ten years. Thus, the recycling of plastic is increasingly critical, from an economic, environmental and societal point of view.
In this project we aim at developing a synthetic methodology that would allow converting commodity plastics into recyclable materials with improved chemical and mechanical properties. To do so, we will exploit the concept of vitrimers. The unique properties of vitrimers make them recognized as a new class of polymeric materials from the fundamental point a view, and in practical terms, as a new way of controlling and solving problems of processing, chemical resistance, mechanical strength and recycling of plastic materials.1,2 In this project, we will focus our effort on the transformation of various types of amorphous and semi-crystalline polymers into vitrimers via reactive processing.2,3

Required background :
The candidate should hold a master degree in polymer science and have keen interest in molecular chemistry, polymer functionalization, polymer characterization (chemical, physico-chemical and mechanical).

Keywords :
Dynamic covalent chemistry, polymer functionalization, reactive processing, physical chemistry, rheology, microscopy, calorimetry.

References :
1 - Denissen, W. ; Winne, J. M. ; Du Prez, F. E. Chem. Sci. 2016, 7, 30 ; DOI : 10.1039/C5SC02223A
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

10 Rue Vauquelin, 75005 Paris