The European Ceramic Society


Nov 17, 2021

Research Internship position, Master II

Study of the thermal stability of carbonated apatites under microwave thermal treatment

A 6 months position available from February 2022

Context. This research internship position is part of the SiBio research project (2021-2025) funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR), which aims at developing biodegradable implants for bone regeneration by means of reactive microwave sintering. It will lead to a PhD offer in October 2022.

Thematerialsstudiedarecarbonatedhydroxyapatite(CHA)ceramicswhosebiodegradationcanbemodulated according to the amount of substituted carbonate. The production of CHA ceramics requires a sintering step, i.e. a thermal treatment at high temperature to consolidate the part. This sintering step is usually performed in a CO2 rich atmosphere to avoid chemical decomposition. The use of such an atmosphere causes in return an enrichment in carbonates ions. Microwave sintering (MW) being a volumetric heating process, heat treatment are up to 10 times faster than for classical resistive sintering. Thus, a wider range of chemistries as well as more biologically reactive microstructures can be considered thanks to MW sintering. 

The Centre for Biomedical and Healthcare Engineering (CIS) of Mines de Saint-Etienne (MSE) has been studying resistive sintering of CHA for several years [PhDS.Guillou,MSE,2020]. The Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering Center (SMS) of MSE is well known for its work on MW sintering [Thesis D. Zymelka, MSE, 2013].

Objective of the internship. The aim is to study the thermal stability of CHAs during MW thermal treatments performed under CO2. Different MW devices will be set up to work in a controlled atmosphere. Once the protocols have been developed and the tests carried out, the physico -chemical characterization means (XRD, FTIR, carbon analysis, BET, SEM) available at the school will be used to analyze the physico-chemical and morphological changes in the products prepared. 

This internship also offers the possibility to participate in a scientific mediation action on bioceramics with Mines engineering students and in collaboration with La Rotonde, Center for technical and industrial scientific culture in MSE.

Supervision. Nathalie Douard, Associate Professor (CIS, MSE, Sainbiose) ; Clémence Petit, Associate Professor (SMS, MSE, LGF) ; Christophe Meunier, Research Engineer (SMS, MSE, LGF)

Requirements: Student in Master 2 or in last year of engineering school with solid knowledge and skills in the field of inorganic materials, ideally ceramics. As this internship is largely experimental, the trainee must be autonomous, organized and rigorous and show an interest in research.

How to apply: Please send your resume and cover letter by mail to Nathalie DOUARD at

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