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150-Optimisation of organic molecule separation and detection by gas ...

150-Optimisation of organic molecule separation and detection by gas ...

  • Contract :Ph.D.
  • Duration :36 months
  • Working time :Full-time
  • Experience :Entry Level
  • Education level :Master’s Degree, MA/MS/MSc

Your mission at CNES :

Optimisation of organic molecule separation and detection by gas chromatography using MEMS technologies for In situ analysis of extraterrestrial environments

In situ analysis of the molecular composition of extraterrestrial environments is of crucial importance for planetary sciences (chemistry of planetary atmospheres, soil mineralogy, etc…) and astrobiology (organic compounds, chirality, etc.). For these reasons, LATMOS, that contributed to the development of all the space chromatographs on-boarded in space probes over the past 20 years, has started, in collaboration with the Laboratory of Separative Sciences and Methods (SMS, University of Rouen) and the LGPM (CentraleSupelec), a space chromatograph development action based on MEMS technologies. This action led to the development of a functional prototype gathering the main functionalities of a chromatograph, namely: a thermodesorption-based injector, a chromatographic column (for separation), a thermal conductivity detector (TCD) and a NEMS (Nano Electro Mechanical System) detector.

The objective of the thesis proposed by SMS, in collaboration with LATMOS and LGPM, is to carry out several tasks with an emphasis on the part related to the chromatographic columns that are the core of the chromatographic analyzer and more especially on the coating. The doctoral student will contribute to this development by integrating the scientific and technical team working on related R&T actions. All these developments will require testing and optimizing these systems with chemical standards. But final validation tests will also be carried out by analyzing natural terrestrial or synthetic samples, similar to those present in planetary environments that we study (Titan, Mars, meteorites, Moon) and to which we have access through our current collaborations, or that we can generate in the laboratory.

Most of this work will be carried out at the SMS (Rouen) except for the part related to the tests that will be carried out essentially at the LATMOS (co-supervision of the thesis) which is a space laboratory of which the GC constitutes one of the main instrumental fields in the space domain. The LGPM (CentraleSupelec, Gif sur Yvette), which is a chemistry laboratory and a historical partner will also contribute to this work. This work will be carried out within a team of about ten people including researchers and engineers.

Finally, we can specify that the doctoral student's work will be carried out in the frame of the MEMS R&T actions funded by CNES in the proposing laboratories. Most of the MEMS components required for this work are now supplied in the various laboratories and the work can begin as soon as the doctoral student will join the team, with high confidence thanks to the work we have carried out over the past year. However, it will be possible to supply new MEMS chips (columns/traps/detectors) if necessary.

To apply, we invite you to contact the PhD/research supervisor at SMS Lab. pascal.cardinael@univ-rouen.fr and fill, with him/her, the co-financing part of the online application form by March 31, 2020

Candidate profile searched:

•    Academic Master 2 or engineer degree in Chemistry

•    Knowledge in separative sciences appreciated. 

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