PostDoctoral Fellow (PDF) position: “Design and Synthesis of (pi-conjugated-based) Organic Mixed Ionic/Electronic Conductors (OMIECs) for Organic (Bio)Electronics”

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    ChemistryOrganic chemistry
    PhysicsCondensed matter properties
    TechnologyInformation technology
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    24/03/2021 03:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Grenoble


Scientific and Technological Context

Organic Mixed Ionic/Electronic Conductors (OMIECs) have recently emerged as an excellent materials platform to interface biology with conventional electronics; identified as the “organic or plastic bioelectronics and biosensors” field. The Organic ElectroChemical Transistor (OECT) is considered as the key building-block to operate such a transduction (i.e. which is the sensing mechanism). Its efficiency is evaluated following some Figures of Merits (FoMs): i) the transconductance , ii) the switching times, iii) an in-situ imaging of the propagating front of dedoping (e.g. ionic mobility measurement), iv) the electrochemical impedance and the electrical equivalent circuit (e.g. capacitance extraction). It results that mastering hierarchical self-organization and choosing the most favorable morphology of the active layer are of paramount importance to improve the transduction operation of OECTs. Despite successful research advances, it remains till date an acute and challenging issue to optimize and unify simultaneously the ionic and electronic transport ability in OMIECs.

A general consensus has (recently) emerged within the Organic (Bio)Electronics community that swelling properties of such (macro)molecular OMIECs are vital to properly drive OECT. Indeed, the swelling of the hydrophilic (thus ionic) rich-phases authorizes the ions to penetrate and to move (e.g. ionic mobility up to 10-3 cm2.V-1.s-1) in vicinity of the hydrophobic pi-conjugated rich phases, modulating their doping states and thus the amount of electronic current flowing in the channel of OECTs. Consequently, the total surface that ionic & pi-conjugated phases exchange and their self-organization play pivotal roles since such a transduction takes place in all the volume of the channel layer of an OECT. The way how OMIECs are organized in the bulk state and the intricate relationship allowing one to (counter)balance the morphology and the domains size of the ionic vs. electronic sub-phases are pivotal to optimize the transduction operation in an OECT.

From this brief conspectus, it is clear that optimizing simultaneously the ionic and electronic transport ability of OMIECs holds promise to ensure a more efficient ion-to-electron (hole) transduction awaited for the next generation OECTs. Taking OECTs as a model device platform, this is calling for new blueprints to trigger innovation breakthroughs in the design and synthesis of functional soft matter for the advent of low-cost but key-enabling technologies for the field of organic (bio)electronics.


Objectives & Rational

The PDF will strive at elucidating what optimal (macro)molecular structure of OMIECs is best-suited for operating efficient ion-to-electron (hole) transduction. OECTs devices will be leveraged as platforms to establish i) multiscale structure vs. property relationships and ii) (macro)molecular engineering rules in OMIECs in order to boost OECT performances.


PDF Research Tasks

Embedded within the CNRS team of the Partner II (UMR5819-SyMMES (CNRS/CEA/UGA) of the French National Agency of Research (ANR) project MASTERMIND (granted within the 2020 generic call for proposal of the ANR), the PostDoctoral Fellow (PDF) will primarily aim at the multi-step synthesis (organic chemistry and polymer chemistry) and purification of OMIECs consisting in Multiblock (Macro)Molecular Organic SemiConductors (M3OSCs vs. M2OSCs) with pi-conjugated (hole/electron) conducting core or chain microstructure with ionically conducting (ioniphilic vs. amphipatic) side-chains (e.g. Oligo(EthyleneGlycol) or Carbonate-based Ionically Conducting Materials (ICMs)). He/She will synthesize libraries of ICMs (i.e. oligo/polymer host matrices to enable high performance salt-in oligo/polymer electrolyte-type side-chains), and M2OSCs (model systems) and M3OSCs (polymeric materials) based OMIECs through straightforward, efficient, and scalable synthetic techniques (e.g. Click-Chemistry reactions & Direct HeteroArylation Polymerization (DHAP)) and established synthetic protocols (reported in the literature).

Through a second order priority, She/He will also contribute (in synergistic collaboration with research teams of Partner I and Partner III of the ANR project MASTERMIND) drawing multi-scale structure/property correlations to access best performing OMIECs by capitalizing on cross-fertilizing (spectro)electrochemical vs. structural characterization results. On one hand, this will facilitate the selection of the most promising macro)molecular OMIECs to be used as active layers for beyond PEDOT:PSS based new generations of OECTs with improved key performance indicator values (i.e. FOMs of OECTs) that will be fabricated/processed/characterized, and modeled by the Partner I (IMT/CMP/ENSME) and Partner III (UMR7647-LPICM (CNRS/Ecole Polytechnique)) of the ANR project MASTERMIND, respectively. On the other hand, FOM values extracted from the (experimental and theoretical modeling) physical characterizations of best performing OECTs with campion OMIECs will serve as a powerful and fast-converging feedback loop to fine-tune and fine-adjust the (macro)molecular chemical structures of the OMIECs designed and synthesized by the PDF.

To realize these intertwined tasks, She/He will benefit from SoA Lab. (UMR5819-SyMMES: HyBRID-EN Platform: https://www.symmes.fr/en/Pages/STEP/Hybriden.aspx) and European (e.g. ESRF (https://www.esrf.eu/) & Soleil (https://www.synchrotron-soleil.fr/en)) large-scale facilities dedicated (ex situ/in situ/operando) characterizing multi-modal/physics platforms, making use of and/or combining: High Resolution & Solid-State NMR (HR-NMR & SS-NMR), Absorption & Photoluminescence, and FTIR spectroscopies, Mass Spectrometries (MSs), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Polarized Optical Microscopy (POM), (Synchrotron vs. Lab) based X-ray (SAXS/WAXS) Scattering and X-ray Imaging, Cyclic Voltammetry (CVs), Potentiostatic Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (PEIS), Galvanostatic Cycling with Potential Limitation (GCPL), Galvanostatic Intermittent Titration Technique (GITT) Pulse-Field Gradient NMR (PFG-NMR), and NMR relaxometry, to name a few.


Work Context

Advised by Dr. P. Rannou (ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9376-7136 . LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrice-rannou-2b75971aa/ ) at the UMR5819-SyMMEs lab (http://www.symmes.fr/en) in Grenoble within the premises of the Grenoble Innovation for Advanced New Technologies (GIANT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNFh_mO0fEc) campus, the PDF will be embedded within the CNRS team/Partner II of the recently granted 3.5 year-long ANR project MASTERMIND (MultiscAle STructure/propERty relationship in MIxed (ionic/electronic) (macro)molecular coNDuctors: Towards new generation organic bioelectronics devices) gathering the cross-fertilizing expertise and know-how of 3 (Co)PIs/Partners:

-PI: Prof. Sébastien Sanaur (ORCID: 0000-0003-4976-7440). Partner I/CMP (Institut Mines-Telecom-Mines Saint-Etienne-Centre Microélectronique de Provence): https://www.mines-stetienne.fr/recherche/5-centres-de-formation-et-de-recherche/centre-microelectronique-de-provence/, https://www.mines-stetienne.fr/en/ & https://www.imt.fr/en/

-Co-PI: Dr. Patrice Rannou (ORCID: 0000-0001-9376-7136). Partner II/ UMR5819-SyMMES (CNRS/CEA/UGA): http://www.symmes.fr/en/

-Co-PI: Prof. Yvan Bonnassieux (ORCID: 0000-0003-4413-2067). Partner III/UMR7647-LPICM (CNRS/Ecole Polytechnique): https://portail.polytechnique.edu/lpicm/en


Within this rich scientific ((Electro)Chemistry, Physics, Nano-Science/Technologies, Information & Communications Technologies (ICTs)) and multinational environment, He/She will be strongly involved in the highly versatile and comprehensive tasks of the French National Agency of Research (ANR) project MASTERMIND, benefiting from interactions (and short stays & specific training action) within an unique research ecosystem consisting in 3 (inter)nationally recognized (French) academic labs, at the forefront of “beyond SoA” functional soft-matter for Organic (Bio)Electronics to develop her/his PDF research project and to expand her/his professional network


Further reading (PEDOT & Organic/Plastic Bioelectronics, OMIECs, (Ionically Conducting) Organic/Polymer Electrolytes, Multiblock (Macro)Molecular Organic SemiConductors (M3OSCs vs. M2OSCs), OECTs, DHAP): Selected Ref 1-16


Ref. 1: Takao Someya et al., "The rise of plastic bioelectronics”, Nature 540, 379–385 (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature21004.

Ref. 2: Mary J. Donahuea et al., "Tailoring PEDOT properties for applications in bioelectronics", Mater. Sci. Eng. R.140, 100546 (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.mser.2020.100546.

Ref. 3: Jaeyub Chung et al., "100th anniversary of macromolecular science viewpoint: Recent advances and opportunities for mixed Ion and charge conducting polymers", ACS Macro Lett. 9, 646-655 (2020). DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.0c00037.

Ref. 4: Bryan D. Paulsen et al., "Organic mixed ionic-electronic conductors", Nat. Mater. 19, 13-26 (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41563-019-0435-z.

Ref. 5: Sahika Inal et al., "Benchmarking organic mixed conductors for transistors", Nat. Commun. 8, 1767 (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01812-w.

Ref. 6: Jonas Mindemark et al., "Beyond PEO-Alternative host materials for Li+-conducting solid polymer electrolytes", Prog. Polym. Sci. 81, 114-143 (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.progpolymsci.2017.12.004.

Ref. 7: Qing Zhao et al., "Designing solid-state electrolytes for safe, energy-dense batteries", Nat. Rev. Mater. 5, 229-252 (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41578-019-0165-5.

Ref. 8: Bin Meng et al., "Oligo(ethylene glycol) as side chains of conjugated polymers for optoelectronic applications", Polym. Chem. 11, 1261-1270 (2020). DOI: 10.1039/C9PY01469A.

Ref. 9: Yazhou Wang et al., "Hybrid alkyl-ethylene glycol side chains enhance substrate adhesion and operational stability in accumulation mode organic electrochemical transistors", Chem. Mater. 31, 9797-9806 (2019). DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b03798.

Ref. 10: Achilleas Savva et al., "Balancing ionic and electronic conduction for high‐performance organic electrochemical transistors", Adv. Funct. Mater. 30, 1907657 (2020). DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201907657.

Ref. 11: Pushpa R. Paudel et al., "Tuning the transconductance of organic electrochemical transistors", Adv. Funct. Mater. 31, 2004939 (2021). DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202004939

Ref. 12: Brian V. Khau et al., "Advances and opportunities in development of deformable organic electrochemical transistors", J. Mater. Chem. C 8, 15067-15078 (2020). DOI: 10.1039/D0TC03118F.

Ref. 13: Marzieh Zabihipour et al., "High yield manufacturing of fully screen-printed organic electrochemical transistors", NPJ Flex. Electron. 4, 15 (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41528-020-0078-9.

Ref. 14: Shuai Chen et al., “Recent technological advances in fabrication and application of organic electrochemical transistors“ Adv. Mater. Technol. 5, 2000523 (2020). DOI: 10.1002/admt.202000523.

Ref. 15: Jean-Rémi Pouliot et al., "Direct (hetero)arylation polymerization: Simplicity for conjugated polymer synthesis", Chem. Rev. 116, 14225-14274 (2016). DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00498.

Ref. 16: Mario Leclerc et al., "Direct (hetero)arylation polymerization: toward defect-free conjugated polymers", Polym. J. 52, 13-20 (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41428-019-0245-9.



1: Organic Mixed Ionic/Electronic Conductors (OMIECs)

2: (Multi-step) Synthetic Organic/Polymer Chemistry

3: Multi-block (macro)molecular functional soft matter: Multiblock (Macro)Molecular Organic SemiConductors (M3OSCs vs. M2OSCs)

4: Click-Chemistry reactions and Direct HeteroArylation Polycondensation (DHAP)

5: (Electro)Chemical characterizations (CV, NMR, FTIR, MS)

6: Organic ElectroChemical Transistors (OECTs)

7: Organic (Bio)Electronics

More Information


Funding: French National Agency of Research (ANR) granted PDF Fellowship

Salary: € 2,648 up to € 3,054 gross salary/month (depending on experience) including a (French) competitive health/medi-care package

Employer: CNRS

Duration: Up to 22 month-long fixed term PDF CNRS contract

Eligibility criteria

The candidates should provide a single e-application file combining 1) a detailed curriculum vitae, 2) a cover letter with description of your research achievements and research interests, 3) transcripts of all degree (in English) 4) Names and contacts of at least two references. 5) Up to 3 representative published works. This single pdf file should be addressed to Dr. P. Rannou (ORCID: 0000-0001-9376-7136): patrice.rannou@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr)

Selection process

The deadline for application is March 24, 2020 @ 3:00 pm (CEST, Grenoble). We encourage candidates to apply as soon as possible as the search for candidates will continue until the position is filled: The PDF position is immediately available. Applications will be evaluated through a three-step process, under a continuous recruitment scheme:

Step 1: Eligibility check of applications based on the submitted application (single) e-file

Step 2: 1st round of selection: The applications will be evaluated by the advisor. The applicants will be notified of the results (i.e. Go/No Go for Step 3)

Step 3: 2nd round of selection: Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview session via videoconference. All applicants qualified for Step 3 will be notified of the final decision.

Required Research Experiences

    ChemistryOrganic chemistry
    1 - 4

Offer Requirements

    Chemistry: PhD or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent
    FRENCH: Good


Organic/polymer chemist by training, the PDF applicant should preferentially hold a PhD degree in Organic Chemistry/Polymer Chemistry or Materials Science in the field of Organic (Bio/Opto)Electronics, with hands-on expertise and track record experience in the design/multi-step synthesis (e.g. Click Chemistry reactions and Direct HeteroArylation Polycondensation (DHAP))/purification/characterization/processing of Multiblock (Macro)Molecular Organic SemiConductors (M3OSCs vs. M2OSCs) used as active layers in OLEDs, OFETs, Lasers or (Donor/(Non-Fullerene) Acceptor-based Bulk-HeteroJunction) Organic Solar Cells.


Know-how of functional (especially hole/electron (i.e. pi-conjugated organic semiconductors) and/or ionically conducting (i.e. Ethylene Oxide or Carbonate-based)) soft matter and previous experiences in multiscale structure/property correlations of using organic (opto)electronics devices (OLEDs, Lasers, Organic Solar Cells, and OFETs) as experimental platforms to optimize (macro)molecular architectures of (pi-conjugated) organic semiconductors or OMIECs will be considered as a plus.


A demonstrated ability to perform independent work, to supervise (under)graduate students, to work across borders of (electro)chemistry and physics of functional soft mater and organic (bio)electronic devices, and excellent communication and writing (English) skills are equally important criteria with respect to academic qualifications and scientific merit for the selection of the PDF.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
17 Avenue des Martyrs

EURAXESS offer ID: 595538


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