Internship | Light absorption by metal nanoparticle in an antenna-reactor

Using sunlight directly to form fuels for the future? Make it possible at TNO!



Education type

university (wo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will be your role?

In the pursue of renewable supplies for energy various alternatives are proposed as replacement for fossil fuels. Among them one find initiatives that aim to tune systems with enhanced and tunable catalytic activity which leads to sustainable fuels or added values chemicals. In the past it has been demonstrated that systems composed of metallic nanoparticle in combination with appropriate light exposure results in a catalytic effect that does not follow what is obtained through more conventional temperature driven processes. This technology has not achieved enough maturity yet, i.e. the possibility to design systems that can target specific reactions path on demand. In the pursue of such goal many experimental and theoretical efforts are taking place with challenges on their own. 

Currently our group has developed different platforms to experiment on plasmon-enhanced catalysis with nanoparticles of various sizes and shapes to facilitate a particular chemistry, e.g. Suzuki reaction, water splitting, CO2 reduction, solar fuels. How effective each system is will depend not only on the light exposure (e.g. intensity, monochromatic versus full spectrum, etc.) but also on how the nanoparticles are encounter in a reactor (e.g. disperse in solution versus deposited in a substrate). In this assignment we look to synthetize different metallic nanoparticles and by controlling the shape and the size be able to produce tailored materials for the different reactions and desired products. 
An approximate description of the activities to be encountered during this project are:
  • Performing literature review and gain acquainted with:
    • Nanoparticles plasmonic effects
    • CO2 reduction in plasmonic photocatalysis
  • Investigation of strategies to form particles in the range of nano-sizes with different shapes. 
  • Performing experiments in a chemical lab. 
  • Investigating the Scaling-up synthesis process.
  • Analyzing the experimental data and preparing presentations.
  • Participating in active discussion with colleagues about your results
  • Reporting and presenting your findings.

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

We're looking for a master's student in the last phase of their Master in chemistry, chemical engineering and/or materials science related programmes. Experience working in a laboratory is a plus. The important thing is your motivation for the project and the desire to engage in innovative material synthesis and application in a topic field, through experimental investigations. The approximate duration of this internship is 6-9 months 

What you’ll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; an internship gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your internship and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable internship compensation.

TNO as an employer

TNO is an independent research organization whose expertise and research make an important contribution to the competitiveness of companies and organizations, to the economy and to the quality of society as a whole. Innovation with purpose is what TNO stands for. With 3000 people we develop knowledge not for its own sake but for practical application. To create new products that make life more pleasant and valuable and help companies innovate. To find creative answers to the questions posed by society. We work for a variety of customers: governments, the SME sector, large companies, service providers and non-governmental organizations. Working together on new knowledge, better products and clear recommendations for policy and processes. In everything we do, impact is the key. Our product and process innovations and recommendations are only worth something if our customers can use them to boost their competitiveness.

You will be part of the catalysis team, in the department Materials Solutions, that is involved in many multidisciplinary R&D topics, typically performed in collaboration with universities, industrial partners and other departments at TNO. As an intern at TNO working on nanoscale materials, you will further develop technical skills but also get a flavor of complexity in interdisciplinary projects, where different disciplines merge.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO.

Contact: Francesc Sastre Calabuig
Phone number: [email protected]

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


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