The Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in collaboration with the research institutions affiliated to the Campus of International Excellence Southern Catalonia (CEICS), is launching the Martí i Franquès research grants programme, a public-private cooperation designed to attract highly talented doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to work on exciting research projects.
This programme honours the scientist Antoni Martí i Franquès (Altafulla, 1750 Tarragona, 1832), who made remarkable contributions not only to the fields of biology, physics and chemistry, but also to the economic development of Southern Catalonia.
He was the first scientist to accurately establish the composition of air.
SPECIFIC POSITION OFFER 2020PMF-PIPF-33
Nowadays, the trends in the analytical chemistry are to ensure quality in the analytical results, where in the case of complex matrix samples, such as those from environmental origin, two important parameters are selectivity and sensitivity.
The objective of the PhD thesis is the development of highly selective and sensitive methods mainly applied to determine novel emerging contaminants in environmental samples, by developing novel materials whose properties improved the capacity and the selectivity followed by liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to mass spectrometry (MS).
To this end, new materials will be prepared that will be applied in the sample treatment step in order to increase the selectivity of the extraction process as well as to obtain high preconcentration factors, since these contaminants are found at very low concentration levels in the studied samples which are highly complex.
The materials to be prepared include : amphoteric materials (through the modification with various zwitterionic functional groups), enantiomeric (through chiral center functional groups) and molecular imprinting polymers (selective to a compound family), among materials will be evaluated in the different extraction techniques, such as solid-phase extraction (off-line or on-line mode), stir bar sorptive extraction, as well as in other novel sorptive extraction formats, followed by LC wih MS in tandem (MS / MS) or high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS).
These new materials due to their selectivity will enable to significantly decrease the matrix effect arised in complex samples and therefore to increase the quality of the analytical results.
Among the compounds of interest to be determined, some compounds that can exist in racemic form will be studied, and due to their different toxicological characteristics, the individual determination of the enantiomers will be deepened.
To do this, the strategy to follow will be the use of the enantiomeric materials previously synthesized, either by their use as stationary phase in LC columns, as SPE sorbent in cartridges or in columns on-line coupled to LC.
This is a multidisciplinary PhD thesis since it provides experience and skills in organic chemistry to prepare the materials as well as in analytical chemistry to apply these new developed materials in extraction techniques for the determination of contaminants in environmental samples using high tech analytical instrumentation such as LC-MS / MS and LC / HRMS.
In addition, it requires working in collaboration with other research groups both nationally and internationally allocated that will promote the knowledge towards other research strategies and disciplines.
Required Research Experiences
Skills / Qualifications
In general, be in possession of an official undergraduate degree, or equivalent, and of a master degree, and have passed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits during the course of their official university studies, of which at least 60 must be master s degree credits