The Martí i Franquès COFUND Doctoral Fellowships Programme (MFP) is a redesign of the existing MF programme, offering 100 doctoral contracts (in four editions : 2017, 2018 and 2020, 2021) at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV).
The programme is uniquely shaped to offer the best training stemming from the "triple i" principles of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions : international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral.
In order to achieve these goals, we combine leading research groups at URV with scientific partners from world-class institutions, such that the candidates are be exposed to interdisciplinary training as well as mentoring from the industrial sector.
Through MFP, URV is in a unique position to offer the best conditions for doctoral training, based on the principles of the and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (guaranteed by the HR award that URV has received in 2014), as well as the .
This position is reserved exclusively for candidates with disabilities. ONLY they can participate, and all candidates that cannot prove their disability via an official certificate will be rejected.
Description of the research project (reference : 2020MFP-COFUND-23)
In the last decade, the artificial water splitting into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) has become a hot topic in research on renewable energy sources.
The main reason is that H2 has a great potential to be used as clean fuel. However, nowadays intensive production of H2 is high energy demanding.
A good Water Oxidation Catalyst (WOC) would facilitate the process by reducing the cost of the crucial step : oxidation of water to molecular oxygen.
Many catalysts have been proposed that facilitate this reaction, 1 but it is hoped that better catalysts are yet to be discovered.
In this project we pretend to develop a computational modeling project in close collaboration with experimentalists. We plan to use computational tools to explore the details of water oxidation reaction mechanisms of a small number of known WOC.
One type of catalysts we would like to explore are the ones synthesized by Diéguez and Pàmies (URV), who have been working on Ir-based catalysts modified with 1,2,3-triazol-5-ylidene ligands.
2 The reason is that they are able to oxidize water at almost neutral pH conditions instead of the undesirable usually used highly corrosive low pH conditions.
The catalytic cycle of the process is not clear, up to the point that there is even, controversy about the nature of the active species.
Some results support that it is a monomeric species and others that it is dimer 1,3 .
The experience acquired during last years in the computational modeling of water oxidation reaction catalyzed by POM anions by the group of Prof.
Poblet, 4 should help to carry out successfully theoretical modeling studies that should be able to put some light on the
nature of the active species and the key steps of the catalytic cycle. With this key knowledge, we plan to perform a virtual catalyst screening, that speeds up the process of finding the optimum catalyst.
Hence, the main objectives of the computational project are :
The relevance of mononuclear and dimeric active species in the catalytic cycle will be explored.
The choice of the systems will depend on the recent advances in the field.
Under revision (2020).
Am. Chem. Soc. 2016 138 (17), 5511-5514
Required Research Experiences