Applications is open from until 19/10/2018
Postdoctoral position in synthesis and modification of nanoporous materials for CO2 capture and gas separation applications
Postdoctoral fellowship in Material Science at CICECO – Aveiro Institute of Materials, Portugal in main research field of Chemistry.

A postdoctoral position is readily available in Materials Science at CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials (, University of Aveiro. We are looking for candidates with self-initiative and a strong background in the synthesis and study of inorganic or hybrid materials, preferably, materials with relevance in energy and environmental issues. You should carry out independent scientific work, including the use of characterization techniques of materials; solid-state NMR and powder X-ray diffraction will also be key techniques in this postdoctoral program. The goal of the project lies in understanding, at a molecular level, how to improve gas capture efficiency of the studied materials and obtain structural insights on surface interactions between these hybrid materials and a number of gases contained in important gas mixtures.

You will also have the possibility to work between different projects with the opportunity to tackle industrially relevant problems related to environmental sciences.

Facilities & Aveiro City: The successful candidate will take advantage of an interdisciplinary environment with privileged access to a wide range of equipments: multiple solid-state characterization spectrometers including 6 liquid/solid-state NMR spectrometers [Liquids: 300 and 500 MHz; Solids: 400, 500, 700 and 800 MHz magnets] with Bruker AV III HD consoles and a wide range of probes. A number of powder/single-crystal X-ray diffractometers and multiple microscopes (TEM/STEM, SEM, HRTEM).  The lab is equipped with shared computer clusters containing several compiled codes to perform advanced computational studies. Collaboration with CICECO senior modelers is encouraged. Aveiro city is a University town located between the two major capitals (Porto & Lisbon) and has a very high-quality of life with great weather and food, beautiful lagoons and stunning beaches along its coastline.

Scientific field: Materials Science; Chemistry.

Requirements / Qualifications:

- Prospective applicants should hold a PhD in Chemistry, Materials science, or related fields and less than 3 years after conclusion of the PhD;

- Demonstrated competencies in synthesis and characterization of materials;

- Good English communication skills (oral + written) are necessary;

- Relevant publications in the field of Materials science.


Activity Outline: The project focus on the preparation and modification of mesoporous silica/carbon materials using distinct synthesis strategies with potential in gas capture and separation applications. A key aspect of the project will be the elucidation of CO2 adducts formed at the material surface employing partial CO2 gas pressures close to post-combustion CO2 capture applications. Physi- and chemisorbed gas speciation will be studied in distinct nanoporous organic-inorganic hybrid material systems available at CICECO institute. Various materials will be strategically post-synthetically modified to favor the formation of distinct surface gas species in order to obtain a better atomic level understanding about the nature of the gas species formed. The study of surface species derived from flue gas contaminants is also envisaged. Good organizational and communication skills are required to report the results to team members. To characterize gas species, the sample will be packed inside an in-situ NMR sample holder in a closed system. This apparatus will be used to adsorb gases into the porous materials at variable-pressure and controlled temperature and moisture levels.


Key objectives:

i) Understand how adsorbent materials with subtle and major structural changes interact with CO2 found at air concentrations (~400 ppm). This is of practical interest for Direct Air Capture (DAC) applications and air purification in confined spaces (e.g., air crafts);

iii) Study the structure of various gas species upon adsorption of strategically prepared gas mixtures that mimic industrial flue gas streams relevant in post-combustion CO2 capture applications;

ii) Tackle what type of physi or chemisorbed gas species are favored by: changing the nature of the adsorbent material, adding moisture, changing partial gas pressures; oxidative and temperature degradation, etc.


Place of work and supervision: The work will be carried out at CICECO –Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, Portugal, under the supervision of Dr. Luís Mafra. 

Duration: The Postdoctoral position is available immediately and has the duration of one year, with the possibility to extend for 6-12 additional months.

Salary: 1495 Euros/month (tax free) according to the official table for Research Grants from FCT ( The periodicity of the fellowship's payment is monthly and via bank transfer. The fellowship holder, if not covered by any social protection scheme can ensure the right to social security through adherence to the voluntary social insurance scheme, pursuant to "Código dos Regimes Contributivos do Sistema Previdencial de Segurança Social".

Regulation: The fellowship is in accordance with Law Nº. 40/2004, 18th August (Research Fellow Statute) and regulations for Advanced Training of Human Resources of Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) I.P. — 2013 ( and the Regulation of Scientific Research Grants from the University of Aveiro – Regulation n.º 341/2011, published in Diário da República, 2nd series, n.º 98, 20th Maio. 

Deadline for applications: 4th of October to the 18th of October, 2018

Evaluation Criteria and Process: 

i) Relevance and quality of previous experience/work of interest for this project (50-60%);

ii) Analysis of publications (30-40%);

iii) The two candidates with better classification will be invited to an interview in case the Jury considers it necessary (0-20%).

All eligible candidates will be ordered consecutively in terms of relative merit. The candidate rated highest in the relative merit list will be invited to fill the position. If the final classification is below 50%, none of the candidates will be invited to take the position. All candidates will be informed about the results by email.


Jury Composition: Luís Mafra, Mariana Sardo and Filipa Sousa.

Documents Required: i) Application letter mentioning the contacts of two or three references; ii) Curriculum Vitae; iii) Academic degree certificate(s).

Applications should be sent by email to Luís Mafra ( within the time frame of the call.

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