The Materials Science, Energy and Nanoengineering department, MSN, of the Mohammed VI polytechnic University (UM6P) is launching several PFE subjects for the academic year 2021. Would you like to join us for your PFE and be part of a multidisciplinary team ? Then send us your CV and motivation letter by the 21/03 to msn@um6p.ma and mention the reference of the PFE in the email subject.

About Mohammed VI polytechnic University (UM6P) and MSN department

Located at the heart of the future Green City of Benguerir, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), a higher education institution with international standards, is established to contribute to the development of Morocco and the African continent. Its vision is honed around research and innovation at the service of education and development.

The Materials Science, Energy and Nanoengineering department, MSN, conducts research in a range of applied research areas, including surface & nanotechnology, polymers and composites, energy, and sustainable materials. It disposes of a top-class laboratory infrastructure and a laboratory management system that aims for excellence. More information about the MSN department can be found at: msn.um6p.ma

PFE subjects at MSN department for 2021

1 “Barrier thin films for electrical applications”

(REFERENCE: PFE_MSN_01)

Description of the subject

The traineeship aims to develop thin coatings for electrical isolation using Physical and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Using state of the art deposition equipment and characterization techniques, the goal of this project is to control at the atomic scale the composition and the phase formation of the isolating thin film. The project will help bring about a good understanding of the effect of the different deposition parameters, such as, temperature, pressure, distance from source and reactive gas flow, on the mechanical and isolating properties of the thin coating.

Mission

  • Review literature in the field of barrier coatings for electrical applications
  • Deposit thin films using high ionization deposition
  • Determine the mechanical properties of the coatings using hardness and scratch tests
  • Determine the electrical properties of the coating using resistivity measurement tests
  • Explain results and write a report

The traineeship will introduce the successful candidate to high technology thin film research and state of the art equipment and technologies. The successful candidate will gain a good comprehension of the world of nano-scale material and the physical and chemical phenomena that determine the properties of materials.

Your profile : you are a Master student in materials physics or chemistry or equivalent

Start date : 29/03/ 2021

Length : 4-6 months

Location: Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Benguerir

2 “Development of conducting polymer coatings for corrosion protection”

(REFERENCE: PFE_MSN_02)

Description of the subject

Metals dissolution and degradation by corrosion process is one of the most important issues in manufacturing industries. Different protection methods against corrosion use coating layers that contain toxic and environmentally hazardous materials, especially chromium compounds. Within this context, the development of new coatings materials and strategies based on the utilization of organic compounds is considered as an environmentally friendly alternative.

Electrons Conducting Polymers (ECPs) are considered one of the most promising alternatives to metal coating to inhibit surface corrosion.  ECPs include a large family of conjugated polymers such as polyaniline (PANI), polypyrrole (PPy), and polythiophene (PTh). These organic materials have been reported for more than two decades in many applications including energy storage, surface coating, RFID, sensors and so on.

Mission

During the internship, we will develop a coating method by using selected ECP Martials. The coating will be applied on a steel-based material in order to inhibit its corrosion. The coating will be performed via an electrochemical polymerization of selected monomers (e.g Pyrrole, aniline). This method can provide homogenous coating of the surface of the steel being protected. Moreover, several parameters such as coating thickness, density, morphology and conductivity can be controlled via the parameters of the electrochemical deposition. This method offers also other advantages including its up-scalability and versatility.

The missions of the internship can be summarized as follow:

  • Review literature in the field of coatings for anticorrosion applications
  • The design and the validation of electrochemical cell which will be used to perform the material coating as well as the corrosion tests.
  • Optimization of coating parameters (selection of the monomers, electrochemical parameters to perform the polymerization)
  • Optimization of the coating (thickness, density, etc)
  • Study of the performance of the coating against corrosion of steel materials.

Experimental techniques and characterization tools: Electrochemistry (characterization and deposition techniques), surface analysis (SEM, EDS, AFM, etc), Spectroscopy: Raman, mechanical properties: Nanoindentation

Your profile : you are a Master student in materials physics or chemistry or equivalent

Start date : 29/03/ 2021

Length : 4-6 months

Location: Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Benguerir

3 “Optimizing laboratory fabrication process of paper and filter products from Moroccan Alfa”

(REFERENCE: PFE_MSN_03)

Description of the subject

Alfa (known as Halfah, esparto, or Stipa tenacissima) is a typical Mediterranean grass covering a very large area estimated at 3 million hectares in Morocco. Alfa is an essential factor in the pastoral balance, and a resource of primary economic and social importance that can be achieved through its valorization in high-added value products. Beyond its use in the old days to fill in mattresses. Paper and filter technologies are high-added value products that can be reached from Alfa fibers. We estimate that a rational exploitation of Moroccan Alfa could create several hundred thousands while potentially placing Morocco as a leader in speciality paper and filter technologies.

This internship aims at investigating various Alfa extraction processes and their impact on the properties of paper and filter products. Performance of the elaborated materials will be compared to commercial products on the market to draw conclusion on their market potential.

Your profile: Master student with material science or chemical engineering background

Start date : 29/03/ 2021

Length : 4-6 months

Location: Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Benguerir

4 “Production and characterization of melt extruded natural fibers-based polymer composites materials”    

(REFERENCE: PFE_MSN_04)

Description of the subject

Throughout the world, there have been alarming concerns over non-renewable resources during the manufacturing of goods and associated environmental legislation. Therefore, the use of natural materials and fabrication of composites, mainly the development of natural fiber reinforced polymer composites, is gaining significant attention. Although natural fiber-reinforced composites show strong application prospects, various materials and processing related challenges need to be addressed to achieve long-term stability and performance. This project aims to study the replacement of currently used thermoplastics by composites reinforced with biomass-derived fibers with several advantages, mainly better mechanical properties, low weight and competitive cost compared to its counterparts. Composite based on natural fibers from biomass as reinforcement for polymeric matrix will be prepared using extrusion and injection molding processes. The developed composites will be characterized in terms of their structural, morphological, thermal and mechanical properties.

Your profile: Master student with material science or physico-chemical engineering background are preferred.

Start date : 29/03/ 2021

Length : 4-6 months

Location: Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Benguerir

5 “Synthesis of green hydrogen by solar energy via photo-electrochemical and thermochemical reaction cycle processes”

(REFERENCE: PFE_MSN_05)

Description of the subject

In the last years, hydrogen has been identified as an indispensable element for a sustainable energy system to provide secure, cost-effective, and non-polluting energy. Hydrogen is considered as a promising energy carrier, which can replace fossil fuels in most of their applications. Hydrogen can be produced cost-effectively from many feedstocks by conventional production processes and using renewable sources. Recently, the electrolysis production process directly driven by the electricity produced by renewables is considered as an effective industrial process to produce green hydrogen.

Even taking in consideration the expected decrease of the cost of electricity produced by renewables, this approach will be maintained an expensive process which will prevent the industrial mass production. So, research in new process to discover a cheap and green way to produce enough hydrogen is highly required. In this regard, newly developed photo-electrochemical and thermochemical processes that can facilitate the production of green hydrogen via the split of the molecule of water with lower energy consumption than the conventional electrolysis method. The first method offers the possibility of using photon energy (sunlight) as the driving force, while the second method uses thermochemical cycles at high temperature (concentrated solar power – CSP).

However, the main objectives of this project are, first, to determine the-state-of-the-art of these technologies to highlight their advantages and drawbacks, second, to develop innovative materials to drive the solar photo-electrochemical and solar thermochemical processes; and, finally to study the thermodynamic properties of these materials and reactions to allow the calculation of the cost of the production of green hydrogen.

Start date : 29/03/ 2021

Length : 4-6 months

Location: Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Benguerir

6 “Enrichissement du phosphate naturel par voie chimique et pétrification d’acides”

(REFERENCE: PFE_MSN_06)

Description of the subject

When phosphate is extracted from the soil, it is naturally mixed with undesirable materials. This material is removed from the phosphate ore using an enrichment process, which includes filtering to different granulometric fractions, washing and flotation. Subsequently this treated rock is used for the production of phosphoric acid that is prepared by attack with sulphuric acid. It is mainly intended for the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers.

This project aims to study and the development of new process for the enhancement of phosphate rock using the soft chemistry technologies. In the author hand this project aim the elimination of heavy metal from Moroccan phosphoric acid

Mission

  • Review literature in the field of phosphate industry
  • Chemical and mineralogical characterisation of raw material
  • Development of adequate process for enhancement of phosphate and acid purification
  • Explain results and write a report

Your profile: Master student with material science or physico-chemical engineering background are preferred.

7  Design of new anodes for sodium and lithium batteries ‘’ spinel oxides’’

(REFERENCE: PFE_MSN_07)

Description of the subject

Since their commercialization by Sony in 1990, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have attracted great interest as the most efficient energy storage system which is due to their high-energy density, long cycle life, and high efficiency. As one of the pivotal components of LIBs, many research groups have been working on the development of new anode materials. Over the years, graphite has been largely used and still dominates the industrial anode market. Nonetheless, its ability to host only one lithium-ion for six carbon atoms and its low theoretical capacity of 372 mAh g-1, limits its use in many applications. Thus, looking for high capacity, low voltage, and safety anode material is required. This work is mainly devoted to the development of nanosized metal oxides and their application as anode material for lithium-ion and/or sodium-ion batteries.

The aims of this project are the Elaboration and characterization of new manganese series of spinel oxides and their application as as anode material for lithium-ion and/or sodium-ion batteries.

Mission

  • Review literature in the field of spinel oxides and their applications in batteries
  • Structural characterization of synthesized materials
  • Vibrational spectroscopy of the spinles
  • Testing the compounds as anodes for lithium-ion and/or sodium-ion batteries
  • Explain results and write a report

Your profile: Master student with material science or Physico-chemical engineering background are preferred.

8 “Elaboration and characterization of new iron-manganese spinel oxides.”

(REFERENCE: PFE_MSN_08)

Description of the subject

Metal oxide nanoparticles are a very attractive class of materials, due to their reduced size they show unique Physico-chemical properties. Particularly, the spinel structures display a high technological interest and have been integrated into a variety of devices.

The aims of this project are the Elaboration and characterization of new iron-manganese spinel oxides.

This project aims to design new spinel oxides,

Mission

  • Review literature in the field of spinel oxides
  • Structural characterization of synthesized materials
  • Optical studies spinel oxides
  • Explain results and write a report

Your profile: Master student with material science or Physico-chemical engineering background are preferred.