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Design and Discovery of large pore open framework materials

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  • Full or part time
    Prof M J Rosseinsky
    Dr A Katsoulidis
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Crystalline porous materials such as zeolites and aluminophosphates are essential for modern manufacturing of fuels and chemicals. In order to enhance the efficiency of these processes and reduce their environmental impacts, and in particular to handle a broader range of molecules for separations and catalytic transformations, open frameworks with larger pores are needed.

This PhD project is an exciting opportunity to design and synthesise these large pore open-framework materials. Using a range of synthetic approaches, including high-throughput approaches using robotic platforms driven by modern informatics methods, you will explore routes to inorganic, covalent and metal-organic chemistries designed to access larger pores.

The project will combine synthetic chemistry, advanced structural analysis (crystallography) and measurement of sorption and catalytic properties, with the opportunity to focus on one or more of these aspects during the project. You will work closely with a strong team of computational and experimental material chemists working together in the discovery of new materials. The student will be based in state-of-the-art laboratories in the newly-opened Materials Innovation Factory ( at the University of Liverpool. As well as obtaining knowledge and experience in materials synthesis and crystallographic techniques, the student will develop skills in teamwork and scientific communication as computational and experimental researchers within the team work closely together. There are extensive opportunities to use synchrotron X-ray facilities. Please note this position will remain open until filled.

Applicants should expect to attain a 2:1 or higher masters degree in Chemistry or Materials Science. The position will appeal to candidates with a strong interest in the synthesis of new materials. Informal enquiries should be addressed to Troy Manning ([Email Address Removed]).

The inorganic materials chemistry group, led by Prof Rosseinsky at the University of Liverpool (, focusses its research on the discovery of new solid inorganic compounds. Recently, the use of computational materials chemistry has accelerated this materials discovery process, leading to the synthesis of a range of novel metal oxides with a variety of functional properties. These successes have shown that the process of computer aided materials discovery relies on a close working relationship between computational and experimental researchers within the group. Recognition of this working relationship has resulted in the recently awarded EPSRC Programme Grant in Integration of Computation and Experiment for Accelerated Materials Discovery, the ERC Dynapore project and the decision to bring together theoretical and experimental researchers within the Materials Innovation Factory and the Leverhulme Centre for Functional Materials Design at the University of Liverpool. The successful candidate will benefit from this relationship, using their experimental skills in close collaboration with the computational excellence present within the research group and supervisory team, to accelerate the discovery of new materials. The research will be performed in the newly opened Materials Innovation Factory with 2750 m2 of top-quality research space on the top floor of the building.

Funding Notes

The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years. The maintenance grant will be £14,777.00 pa for 2018-19.

Depending on the successful applicant (EU or non-EU) this studentship would include a commitment to work up to 144 hours per academic year to help with teaching-related activities in modules currently taught in the Department of Chemistry, as assigned by the Head of Department or his representative. The award will pay full home/EU tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years. Non-EU applicants may have to contribute to the higher non-EU overseas fee.


1 Encapsulation of Crabtree’s catalyst in sulfonated MIL-101(Cr): enhancement of stability and selectivity between competing reaction pathways by the MOF chemical microenvironment
A. Grigoropoulos, A. I. Mckay, A. P. Katsoulidis, R. P. Davies, A. Haynes, L. Brammer, J. Xiao, A. S. Weller and M. J. Rosseinsky
Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 2018, doi: 10.1002/anie.201710091
2. Stable and ordered amide frameworks synthesised under reversible conditions which facilitate error checking.
D. Stewart; D. Antypov; M.S. Dyer; M.J. Pitcher; A.P. Katsoulidis; P.A. Chater; F. Blanc; M.J. Rosseinsky
Nature Communications 8, 1102, 2017.
3. Chemical and Structural Stability of Zirconium‐based Metal–Organic Frameworks with Large Three‐Dimensional Pores by Linker Engineering.
S. B. Kalidindi; S. Nayak; M. E. Briggs; S. Jansat; A. P. Katsoulidis; G. J. Miller; J. E. Warren; D. Antypov; F. Corà Dr. B. Slater; M. R. Prestly; C. Martí‐Gastaldo; M. J. Rosseinsky
Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 2015, 54, 221 –226, doi:10.1002/anie.201406501
4. Polyamine-Cladded 18-Ring-Channel Gallium Phosphites with High-
Capacity Hydrogen Adsorption and Carbon Dioxide Capture J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 6719−6722
5. Mesoporous Cages in Chemically Robust MOFs Created by a Large Number of Vertices with Reduced Connectivity J. Am. Chem. Soc., Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b11230

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