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Determining the Gas Adsorption Behaviour of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) by In-situ X-ray Diffraction

Project Description

A EPSRC DTG funded 42 month PhD Studentship is available in the Centre for Nanoporous Materials, School of Chemistry for an excellent chemist in the field of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).
MOFs are an exciting new family of crystalline nanoporous material with huge potential for a wide variety of applications including gas storage and separation technologies. MOFs exhibit a range of exciting gas adsorption phenomena, such as guest induced “breathing”, hysteresis, or multistep adsorption, however critical comprehension of these novel behaviours is limited as structural characterisation during these adsorption processes is severely lacking.
This project aims to determine the gas adsorption behaviour of rigid and flexible framework MOFs under a diverse array of industrially relevant gases by determining the structures of the MOFs under different gas loadings at various temperatures and pressures. Combining this information with gas adsorption experiments will attain a true understanding of these fascinating phenomena. The project will involve the synthesis of modified or known MOFs, characterisation including single crystal and powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, gas adsorption measurements and other spectroscopic techniques. Particular emphasis of the project will be on using in-situ single crystal X-ray crystallography to obtain the crystal structures of gas loaded MOFs using in-house state-of-the art single crystal X-ray diffractometers and capillary gas cells. The studentship will be based in Manchester but may also involve trips to synchrotron sources for data collection.
Overall this project will provide excellent experience for the prospective student in a diverse range of areas including: materials chemistry, nanoporous materials, materials’ synthesis, in-situ X-ray diffraction, crystallography, gas adsorption and separation.

Contact for further Information:

Applicants are expected to hold, or be about to obtain, a first or upper second class honours degree (or an equivalent degree) in Chemistry and be a citizen of the UK or EU. Experience of solid state/ materials chemistry and crystallography/ diffraction would be advantageous, although full training will be provided.

Complete an online application form using the following web link:
Please select PhD Materials Chemistry on the application form.
Please submit a cover letter and CV with your application. The cover letter must contain a short paragraph covering your research interests and your motivation for the project.

Funding Notes

Funded by an EPSRC DTG and awarded by the School of Chemistry. The funding covers tuition fees and a stipend for 3.5 years (£15,009 p.a. in 2019/20).
Open to UK/EU applicants only.
We expect the Programme to commence in September 2019.


(i) I. J. Vitórica-Yrezábal et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 56, 5527, (2017).
(ii) A. Boutin et al., J. Phys. Chem. C., 114, 22237, (2010).
(iii) C. Nanthamathee et al., Chem. Mater., 27, 85, (2015).

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