Chloé Fromentin

Olá, my name is Chloé and I am from France. After obtaining a bachelor´s degree in Physics I joined an Erasmus Mundus Master program in Materials science for which I studied in Germany (München) and in Italy (Torino). I carried out my master thesis at ALBA synchrotron, in Spain, on heterogenous catalysis focusing on the preparation and the characterization of the inverse catalyst Ceria nanoparticles obtained by Atomic Layer Deposition supported on Palladium, for CO oxidation. PIONEER is thus an excellent match for my academic background. This project also offers the multidisciplinary I have always been seeking and the international environment in which I like to work.

I am currently a PhD student at IST (Instituto Superior Técnico), in Lisboa, under the supervision of Professor Vasco Guerra and the co-supervision of Professor Timo Gans from the Dublin City University (DCU). My work is centred on the modelling of non-equilibrium plasma kinetics. More precisely, the aim of this thesis is to investigate the kinetics of CO2 containing plasmas. For this purpose, I am using a zero-dimensional kinetic model to describe low-pressure DC discharges in CO2, CO2-O2 and CO2-N2. In parallel with this modelling work, I will perform experiments at the University of York, in low- and atmospheric-pressure RF discharges.


Overview Pioneer
ESR: 4
Title: Energy input and relaxation in atmospheric pressure CO2 plasmas
Home Institution: Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa (IST-IPFN)
1st Supervisor: Vasco Guerra
Host Institution: Dublin City University (DCU)
2nd Supervisor: Timo Gans
Secondment: University of Antwerp (UAntwerpen)


Greenhouse gas conversion has become one of the major scientific and technological challenges nowadays. An efficient storage of energy in chemical compounds produced from CO2 emissions, in particular in hydrocarbon-based fuels which could be straightforwardly integrated into the existing transport infrastructure, would be extremely interesting from the environmental, economical and societal points of view. In the last few years, the “indirect route” to CO2 dissociation by non-equilibrium plasmas, involving an enhancement of dissociation through the input of energy from the electrons into the vibrational degrees of freedom of the molecule, has been systematically studied. Preliminary results suggest that low-pressure plasmas seem to favor non-equilibrium and vibrational energy up-pumping. However, atmospheric pressure operation is better suited for industrial application. The aim of this work is to investigate the internal energy transfers and plasma reactivity in atmospheric pressure CO2 plasmas, identifying similarities and differences with low-pressure conditions. To this purpose, a self-consistent kinetic model will be developed, together with detailed experimental benchmarking using advanced optical techniques, in particular picosecond laser spectroscopy, to get a comprehensive characterization of the plasma and to facilitate a rich and meaningful comparison with the numerical simulations. This joint theoretical and experimental effort will allow understanding and optimizing the underlying mechanisms leading to CO2 dissociation.

Links with other ESR

  • ESR 2 and 3: Comparison of model approaches for optimization of vibrational kinetic description

Expected Results

  • Experimental characterization of CO2 atmospheric pressure plasmas (CO2 APP’s)
  • Determination of the dissociation degree in CO2 APP’s
  • Development of a self-consistent model to study CO2 APP’s
  • Understanding the mechanisms of vibrational excitation in CO2 APP’s
  • Identification and analysis of the mechanisms leading to CO2 conversion in CO2 APP’s


  • UoY: Measurements on APP’s
  • UAntwerpen: Comparison of modeling approaches and numerical techniques
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