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A 4-year EngD studentship in high pressure operando surface X-ray analysis of heterogeneous catalysts

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, June 30, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The UCL Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science is offering a fully funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in September 2019. The studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a tax free maintenance stipend (e.g. £18277 pa) for four years.

The project will be in collaboration with Diamond Light Source. The student will carry out his/her doctoral research on the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, in Oxfordshire.

The aim of this research project is to investigate the connections between structural and chemical properties in catalytic systems with the use of surface x-ray scattering techniques.

Establishing relationships between structure and activity is a main question in fundamental and applied heterogeneous catalysis research owing to the complex structures they display. It is well known from that the morphology, composition and crystalline structure of the catalysts evolve during catalytic reactions. The main scientific challenge for understanding such processes is the ability to accurately determine the behaviour/structure of the surface or species at the surface under operating conditions.

In this project the applicant will have the unique opportunity to exploit the combination of an high brilliance synchrotron source with the capabilities offered by the use of surface X-ray scattering techniques to investigated in real time the behaviour of catalytic materials in reaction conditions.

For this purpose a high pressure flow reactor will be designed, commissioned and applied to Operando Grazing Incidence Small-Angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) and Grazing Incidence X-ray Diffraction (GIXD) experiments in order to collect structural and chemical information over a range of length scales, from sub-angstrom positional information of atoms up to nanoscale organization.

This system aims to be the first of its kind, capable to reach operational pressure conditions during GISAXS/GIXD experiments and will be developed in the frame of a collaboration between [email protected] and the I07 surface and interface diffraction beamline of Diamond Light Source.

Interested candidates should contact Prof. Andrew M. Beale () with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged.

Applications will be accepted until 30 June 2019 but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

Funding Notes

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in physics, chemistry, materials science or a related subject.

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU, who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years preceding their start on the programme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

How good is research at University College London in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 62.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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