Developing cooperative gas uptake in metal-organic polyhedra
Recently, we have been studying the chemistry and physical properties of metal-organic polyhedra (MOPs). These small, cage-like molecules have pores in which gas molecules can be stored. Because they are discrete molecules, the molecular packing in the solid state can have a huge impact on the gas uptake of the molecules. In fact, we have shown that the same molecule can show distinct gas uptakes, and even display cooperative gas sorption. Cooperative gas uptake is unusual for these cages: at a specific pressure of gas, the MOPs rearrange in the solid state to show much higher capacity (1, 2). This behaviour is selective, and suggests that MOPs could be applied in gas separations.
With this studentship, we will use supramolecular chemistry to tune the cooperative gas uptake in assemblies of MOPs. From the outset, the project will involve organic synthesis of ligands and synthesis of coordination complexes, with opportunities to perform a range of physical characterisation techniques, including single-crystal X-ray diffraction, powder X-ray diffraction, and gas sorption measurements, as well as receiving training in how to interpret all of the associated data. As the project evolves, the candidate will be supported to develop their own research ideas. The candidate will be trained in writing manuscripts for publication in scientific journals, and strongly supported and encouraged to apply to external funding schemes where appropriate (for example travel grants from the Royal Society of Chemistry). This training will be further supported by participation in the Strathclyde PG Researcher Professional Development Programme.
Funding is available to cover tuition fees for Home UK or EU applicants for 3 years (from 1st of October 2020), as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (estimated £15,245 for Session 2020/2021)
UK/EU candidates are eligible to apply. Candidates applying should have (or expect to achieve) a strong MChem or equivalent degree in Chemistry. Interested EU candidates are encouraged to get in touch to discuss qualifications.
Please contact Dr Craig with:
1. A cover letter describing your skills and interest in the project (max. 1 page)
2. A CV (max. 2 pages), including details of anticipated degree qualification. At this stage a detailed academic transcript is not required, but will be requested as part of the formal application process.
3. Details of 2 references.