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Design of multifunctional Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs)-based materials for carbon capture and photocatalytic conversion (EPS2020/51)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The project aims to design novel multifunctional materials that can capture carbon and convert it to a valuable chemical or fuel.

The application of MOFs for photocatalytic CO2 reduction has been largely unexplored so far and has emerged recently as a means of addressing global energy demands and contributing to reduce current CO2 emissions. Recent work demonstrate that MOF-based materials hold great promise for applications in the field of CO2 capture and conversion applications, namely for CO2 photoreduction to fuels and chemicals. However, to address current challenges in using MOFs in photocatalytic systems, extensive research needs to be conducted.

This project will investigate the photocatalytic mechanism of CO2 reduction over MOF-based materials and establish a correlation between composition-structure-performance of MOFs than can ultimately lead to the rational design and development of stable MOFs with the optimum characteristics for CO2 capture and conversion applications. The performance of the MOF-based materials will be further optimised through the use of novel photoreactor designs currently available at our group.


All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MSci, MEng or equivalent degree by Autumn 2020. Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or by Skype). Our scholarships are usually only open to UK/EU applicants who meet residency requirements set out by EPSRC, however some scholarships are available for exceptional overseas candidates.

Closing Date

All applications must be received by 28th February 2020. All successful candidates should usually expect to start in September/October 2020.

How to Apply

Apply Online -

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:
(a) in ‘Study Option’
You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Mechanical engineering PhD, chemical engineering PhD or Bio-engineering and Bio-sciences PhD and select September 2020 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)
(b) in ‘Research Project Information’
You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.

Funding Notes

The annual stipend will be approx. £15k per year and full fees will be paid for between 3 and 3.5 years.

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