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University of Sheffield Featured PhD Programmes

Delivering the next generation of hybrid porous materials


Project Description

Project description:
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are high surface area materials based on metal nodes/clusters and organic linkers. MOFs have highly tuneable structures and functionalities enabling them to be tailored towards specific applications including molecular storage and separation, catalysis, adsorbents in waste treatment, sensors, and supercapacitors.
Microwave technology is a tremendously exciting method for MOF synthesis; it has been used to prepare MOFs and MOF-hybrids otherwise difficult to isolate or unobtainable through other synthetic routes. This PhD project will investigate the synthesis of novel MOFs (e.g. mixed metal, core-shell, and defect materials) using our bespoke microwave heating systems (batch and continuous flow) and their structural characterisation using techniques such as X-ray diffraction. The properties of the new materials and their host/guest interactions will be investigated using gas sorption, thermal analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and spectroscopies such as NMR, IR, and UV-vis.
This highly interdisciplinary project combines innovations in both synthesis and cutting edge materials characterisation to produce materials with enhanced and superior properties.
Benefits and facilities:
The work of the group is underpinned by unique experimental facilities and leading characterisation suites including X-ray diffraction, gas sorption and the Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre (nMRC). There will also be opportunities for working with our collaborators at the Universities of Newcastle and Manchester, Diamond Light Source, and The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Oxfordshire).
This work is expected to be published in high impact factor scientific journals. There is opportunity to present work at premier UK and international conferences which all help to develop key skills and expertise

We are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated person with good interpersonal skills and a keen interest in research.
The candidate must have, or expect to obtain a first-class or 2:1 degree, or a distinction or high merit at MSc level (or international equivalent) in chemistry, physics or materials science. First-hand experience in synthetic inorganic chemistry or porous materials is desirable, including familiarity with X-ray crystallography and/or solid-state NMR spectroscopy (but training will be provided).

Funding Notes

The PhD position is available from 1st October 2019. The studentship covers both tuition fees and a tax-free student stipend at RCUK rates (£15,009 per annum for 2019/20 academic year). Duration is 3 years.

Research will be conducted under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Laybourn, Dr. Chris Dodds and Prof. Samuel Kingman at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, UK. Applications should be made by sending a CV (including referees) and covering letter to: clearly stating the project title in the email. Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews may also be sent to this email address.

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