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[SETN] PhD position at ILL

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buscamos un estudiante. Se trata de un proyecto de
caracterizacion estructural y de la dinamica del agua en cementos, entre
el Institut Laue-Langevin y la Univ. Grenoble Alpes (Francia).

The ISTerre (CNRS & University of Grenoble Alpes) and the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL, Grenoble,
France), jointly invite applications for a three-year PhD programme focusing on the
Structure and dynamics of water in ordinary Portland and low CO 2 cements
Cement is the single most used material in the world, but despite many centuries of intensive usage
and an ever-increasing worldwide demand, many physico-chemical fundamental questions regarding
the cement setting process remain elusive. During this process different hydrates nucleate and grow,
of which calcium silicate hydrates (C-S-H) is the most important binding phase. C-S-H is indeed the
key compound controlling the final cement properties, such as strength and durability. Although a
large deal of research effort has been devoted to the study of C-S-H, its poorly crystalline character
has made it inherently difficult to fully characterize it. Moreover, the presence of aluminate phases
both in ordinary Portland cement and in new low-CO 2 emissions cement formulations result in Al-
substituted C-A-S-H. Whereas much effort has been put in understanding the atomic structure of
these phases, both the structure and diffusion of water through their pores remain poorly understood.
Understanding water organization in the C-S-H phase is not only important for the setting behavior,
but also because water plays a key role in the dissolution-recrystallization and carbonation processes
which are the main cause of the loss of cement strength. Moreover, water diffusion in C-S-H
nanopores is important to understand the exchange of other ions in pollutant removal or in the
context of nuclear waste storage.
In this Ph.D. project, the atomic structure of C-(A)-S-H, and the structure and dynamics of water in
the different pores of these materials will be studied using a combination of neutron scattering
techniques, including neutron pair distribution function analyses and inelastic neutron scattering, with
synchrotron X-ray scattering and laboratory-based methods such as water adsorption isotherms,
infrared spectroscopy or thermogravimetric and calorimetric analyses. We are looking for a motivated
candidate with a background in physics, materials science, or chemistry, with fluency in English, and a
strong motivation to work in an international environment.
The PhD project will be located in Grenoble (France), at the ILL, and at the ISTerre laboratory
(campus St. Martin d’Heres), in close collaboration with BRGM (Orleans, France). The successful
candidate will be employed for a period of up to three years, with a gross salary of around 2350
€/month, together with other benefits depending on the student’s social status (for more details see:
ill/). A team of experts, including the geochemistry team at ISTerre, and interactions with experts
from BRGM (French Geological Survey, Orleans), will supervise the work of the PhD student.
Applicants should have a degree in a relevant physics, chemistry or materials science discipline.
Academic knowledge of condensed matter physics will be appreciated.
Supervisors: Alejandro Fernandez-Martinez, ISTerre (CNRS & Univ. of Grenoble Alpes), Alexander
Van Driessche (CNRS & Univ. of Grenoble Alpes) and Gabriel J. Cuello, ILL (Grenoble).
Contact information:
Alejandro Fernandez-Martinez, (+33) 4 76 63 51 97,
Alexander Van Driessche, (+33) 4 76 63 51 94,
Gabriel J. Cuello, (+33) 4 76 20 76 97,

darrera modificació: Març 2017
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