Internship | Photothermal design for light-driven sustainable chemical processes
About this position
Driven by the global aspiration to achieve a CO2-neutral society, the conversion of CO2 to higher energy species such as methane (CH4) has recently grown into a significant research field. To achieve a sustainable methanation process, the sunlight driven nanoparticle enabled photocatalysis reaction has shown promising results. Nanoparticle (NP) catalyst is an important ingredient: it is an efficient light absorber and varying its size and load directly affects the chemical reaction rate. In this project, we will study the photothermal effect of such NPs and quantify various contributing factors.
What will be your role?
Conventionally, the methanation process is performed in dark and catalysed by supported metal catalysts (e.g. Ni, Ru, Rh) and requires thermal activation at temperatures between 300°C and 500°C. Instead of heat, sunlight would be an appealing alternative. Particles of nano-size are good absorber of light and transfer the absorbed energy into heat. The photothermal effect is a complex multi-physical problem. In this project, we will orderly model the optical and the induced heat transfer phenomena. The NPs have strong resonance at certain wavelengths, which is known as Plasmon resonance. The powerful catalyst NPs usually display a weak plasmon resonance, whereas the strong plasmonic metals are weak catalyst. Special attention will be paid to the plasmonic effect on the photothermal efficiency. Furthermore, the collective photothermal effect of large quantity of NPs will be studied, especially their impact on reactor design. The results of the this project will contribute to shed light on the mechanism of the photocatalytic reaction and to promote sustainable energy systems.
What we expect from you
- Master level study on physics;
- Knowledge on optics preferably;
- Experience in computation tool and language such as, Matlab / Python
- Hands-on mentality
What you'll get in return
You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement 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 work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.
TNO as an employer
At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.
At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.
The selection process
The selection process comprises two interview rounds. We aim to finalize the entire process within four weeks.
After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.
Students must reside in the Netherlands before the start and also throughout the internship or graduation project at TNO.
Has this job opening sparked your interest?
Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.