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  Experimental chemical design for the creation of novel ionic liquid materials

   School of Chemical and Physical Sciences

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  Prof Patricia Hunt  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

An experimental PhD position is available as part of a 3-year collaborative project 'Unravelling the electronic structure of highly charged hydrogen-bonds; rational chemical design and the creation of novel ionic liquid materials.'

About the Project

Ionic-liquids are novel liquids composed primarily of ions, they are green and recyclable alternatives to traditional solvents/electrolytes/engineering fluids. Research undertaken in the Weber group is leading in the experimental investigation of these new materials. Traditional hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) are well known, for example, in water and DNA. We have shown that new types of H-bond exist because of the dense ionic environment within ionic liquids.

 We are seeking a motivated PhD candidate to join our team investigating this emerging area of H-bonds within ionic liquids, and ionic liquid like materials. The project will involve the use of synthesis and spectroscopic techniques to characterise the new form of H-bond, delivering new knowledge which will be used to establish novel structure-property relationships. Based on the insights obtained, and in collaboration with a computational PhD, you will design and synthesise new ILs and explore potential new extreme forms of H-bonding. This PhD is one of a pair, the collaborating PhD, based in the group of Prof. Hunt (Victoria University of Wellington), will be computationally characterising the underpinning electronic structure of the ILs at the atomic/molecular level. You will actively study the same ILs and each PhD will draw knowledge from the complementary approach.

 As an experimental PhD you will be trained to synthesise ionic liquids and in the appropriate spectroscopic (NMR, UV-vis, IR/Raman) and analytical techniques required to characterise H-bonding in the ILs. The project will be undertaken on-site within the group of Dr Weber at The University of Auckland, ( Dr Weber's group is a member of the MacDiarmid Institute for advanced materials and nanotechnology.


The successful applicant will have a genuine passion for scientific research and a strong interest in IL synthesis and the physico-chemical characterisation of liquids.  Candidates will have an equivalent grade B+ or greater in a relevant field in a relevant field in a honours or post graduate degree that incorporated a significant research project. You will also have a good command of English (both written and spoken).  Candidates should satisfy the requirements for admission as a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland (

 Funding Information:

Fully-funded as part of a Marsden Grant providing a non-taxed stipend of NZ$35,000 per annum and the PhD tuition fee for 3 years

 To apply / for more information:

For more information on how to apply Please send your CV , a copy of your academic record (transcripts with grades) and the names and contact details of two referees: to [Email Address Removed]. Put "PhD H-bonding" in the subject line. Applications will close at 5pm NZ time on 27th February 2023

Chemistry (6)

Funding Notes

Fully funded as part of a Marsden Grant