STAGE – CNRS – Development of semiconductor based hybride photoelectrodes for CO2 reduction


Function :                Intern

Contract :               CNRS internship agreement

Starting date:        February/march 2024

Duration:                 6 months

Workplace:             IPVF – 18 boulevard Thomas Gobert, 91120 Palaiseau

                                 (& CEA-Saclay)

Education:              Master 2



IPVF – Institut Photovoltaïque d’Île-de-France

IPVF is a scientific and technical pole dedicated to the research and development of solar technologies. It permanently hosts its own staff, as well as the employees of its partners and external companies. IPVF aims to become one of the world’s leading centers for research, innovation, and training in the field of energy transition.
IPVF primary objective is to improve the performance and competitiveness of photovoltaic cells and develop breakthrough technologies by relying on four levers:

• Ambitious research program.
• The hosting of more than 200 researchers and their laboratories on its Paris-Saclay site.
• A state-of-the-art technology platform (8,000 m²) open to the photovoltaic industry actors, with more than 100 state-of-the-art equipment units located in clean rooms.
• A training program mainly based on a master’s degree, the supervision of PhD students, and continuing education.


Brief history:

The IPVF was founded in 2013 on the initiative of the French government, EDF, TotalEnergies, Air Liquide, CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, Horiba and Riber. Bringing together more than 150 researchers, our 8,000 square meter Paris-Saclay platform is a unique platform for all types of deeptech research and innovation.

The IPVF aims to remain:
• A world leader in photovoltaic-related R&D. By federating the best French teams in the field of research, innovation and industrial production, in partnership with major international institutes, particularly in Europe,
• A leader in the development of photovoltaic technology bricks in line with market trends,
• A reference in sending the most promising R&D concepts to the industry.



Progress made in carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction photocathodes based on earth-abundant transition metal complexes immobilized or incorporated on semiconductors (SC) lags far behind that of HER photocathode activities. To date, reported molecular catalyst-based photocathodes performing CO2 reduction remain scarce. Further, they (i) rely largely on precious metal components, (ii) require large overpotentials preventing bias-free photoelectrochemical applications, and (iii) experience photo-corrosion processes limiting their performance stability. Functionalization of photoelectrodes by earth-abundant metal complexes (through encapsulation or grafting) has been attracting an increasing interest in the field These recent works pave the way for the development of a new family of molecular catalyst-based photoelectrodes for CO2 reduction.
In this study, we will focus on the development of highly efficient and durable photocathodes for CO2 reduction. The p- and n-type semiconductors will be mainly prepared by electrochemical techniques then functionalized by an earth-abundant metal complex through a metal oxide interface layer made by atomic layer deposited (ALD).



The recruited M2 student will therefore have to:

• Lead the bibliography study on the development of photocathodes for CO2 reduction
• Carry out the synthesis of the SC materials, investigate different nanostructures that can be obtained, evaluate the influence of the deposition parameters on their physico-chemical properties and carry out their characterization (UV-Vis, IR, Raman, X-ray diffraction, SEM).
• Fabricate hybrid semiconductor-catalyst photocathodes
• Study the photo-electro-catalytic properties of the photocathodes
• Quantify the CO2 reduction products by gas chromatography (GC), ion chromatography (IC), and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).


He/she will also attend the group meetings, write a biweekly report and present his/her results to the team. This work will be done in collaboration with CEA Saclay.





– Material sciences / Chemistry
– Electrochemistry



– Strong experimental and analysis skills
– Proficient English required


Self-management skills

– Strong teamwork skills

– Proactive and Autonomous



Cover letter and résumé to be sent to:

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