Our Lab investigates fundamental and applied problems bridging between chemical innovation and industrial solutions. The core focus is the development and deployment of spectroscopy methods of enabling character for materials science.A very promising process to reduce greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere by direct air capture (DAC) relies on CO2 sorbents, such as amine-functionalized polymers, which are able to bind CO₂ from air, reversibly forming carbamates. The reversible uptake capacity and kinetics depends on the number of active sites in the material and the accessibility of them. Unfortunately, many concurrent, not fully understood, micro-chemical processes cause the amine/carbamate system to degrade, with as high as 40% loss of DAC efficiency.To investigate the amine degradation you will set up a unique soft X-ray laser coupled to gas chromatography mass spectrometry and microanalyze the chemical pathways of degradation. Laser desoption ionization coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry offers the possibility to analyze pristine and "spent" sorbent materials in situ, with a spatial resolution of approx. 1 micron. Lateral and depth-resolved mappings of the organic compounds at given time-interval will permit to track the dynamics of the oxidative process. Your tasksOperate and validate a setup for soft X-ray laser delivery to a GC-Mass Spectrometer. Utilize complementary methods for the validations, such as Raman, GC-MS, HAXPES, synchrotron spectroscopy.Carry out spatially resolved micro-analysis on materials for the sorption of CO2.Coordinate and participate in industrial projects, Write peer-reviewed publications and promote the results at international conferences
Empa, David Heusser, Human Resources, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.