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Design and Synthesis of Magnetically Active Organic Materials

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Craig Robertson
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for an ambitious graduate with at least (or who expects to obtain at least) a 2i degree in Chemistry, Physics or Materials Science to join the Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool, UK, for a 42-month Graduate Teaching Assistant PhD studentship.

The project will investigate the design and synthesis of stable organic radicals, targeting the generation of magnetically active multifunctional materials. It will involve experimental work coupled with computational studies.

Magnetically active organic materials displaying multifunctional behaviour, such as conductivity, photochromism or porosity are rare, as the design of the necessary molecular building blocks is a challenging task. The basic electronic requirement of these molecules is an unpaired electron that can serve as a magnetic coupler; the associated physical properties depend heavily on the solid state packing of each building block. This project will focus on two different classes of organic radical building blocks, one containing SN or SeN heterocycles and the other arylimidazoles. Recently we have developed a series of SeN-based radicals that are both magnetically active and electrically conductive. The next stage will be their synthetic modification to generate magnetically active liquid crystals and/or “soft” materials. The project will also probe the design and synthesis of magnetically/photo active porous radicals developed from imidazole chemistry.

The project will require organic and inorganic synthetic techniques, including the handling of air/moisture sensitive materials via glove box and Schlenk lines. Advanced X-ray crystallography (including experiments using synchrotron radiation at the Diamond Light Source) combined with computational studies, EPR spectroscopy, magnetic (SQUID) and charge transport measurements will be required to probe the structure-property relationship of these materials.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to UK/EU nationals only and will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 42 months (£14,057 in 2015/2016). Non-UK/EU nationals are not eligible for this position.

The studentship includes a commitment to work up to 144 hours per academic year to help with teaching-related activities in modules currently taught at the Department of Chemistry.

The position is available from 1st October 2016; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Applications should be submitted asap by completing the online postgraduate research application form at, clearly stating the project title and supervisor.

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