Type dienstverband:
Internship and graduation project
Uren per week:
Fulltime – 40

Internship | Light absorption by plasmonic catalyst for solar-powered methanol production

About this position

In the pursue of renewable supplies for energy various alternatives are proposed as replacement for fossil fuels. Among them one finds initiatives that aim to tune systems with enhanced and tunable catalytic activity towards green methanol production. Plasmonic systems composed of metallic nanoparticles in combination with appropriate light irradiation 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 reaction pathways on demand. In the pursue of such goal many experimental and theoretical efforts are taking place with challenges on their own.

What will be your role?

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 positioned in a reactor (e.g. disperse in solution versus deposited in a substrate). In this assignment we look to synthetize different (supported) 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 get 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;
  • Structural characterization of the developed catalysts;
  • 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.

The approximate duration of this internship is six months to eight months (24-32 weeks).

What we expect from you

  • The duration of this internship is at least 6 months, preferably in the MSc phase of your study. Please clearly mention duration availability and starting period in your application;
  • The location is in Eindhoven;
  • A background in physics, chemistry, material science, Chemical Engineering or Chemical Technology. Practical experience in lab environment and hands-on skills are preferable;
  • Interest in the energy transition;
  • High motivation, with a curious nature and a taste for problem-solving;
  • Ability to work autonomously within a small team and good social skills to get the information you need from the most knowledgeable people around you;
  • Good communication skills (in English).

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

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.