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Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

Experimental discovery of new three-dimensional covalent organic frameworks

Department of Chemistry

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Prof M J Rosseinsky , Dr J Claridge Applications accepted all year round

About the Project

This project will explore the synthesis and characterisation of new covalent organic framework (COF) materials which lay intermediate between amorphous porous polymers and crystalline porous metal organic frameworks in that COFs are entirely organic but have crystalline structures. The advantage of crystalline materials is that they have well-defined homogeneous environments which are easier to characterise and understand, thus enhancing the ability to design materials for specific applications. Three-dimensional covalent organic frameworks built from strong chemical bonds are rare, and would be important in a range of applications.
The project will develop the amide framework-forming chemistry reported by the group1, and develop related approaches that reversibly form strong covalent bonds to make robust networks. The materials will be evaluated for applications in catalysis, separations, gas storage and ionic conductivity. The project will make use of robotic high throughput methodologies to explore a wide range of chemical space. You will therefore develop extensive experience in the synthesis and structural and property characterisation of porous materials.
You will work closely with a strong team of computational and experimental material chemists working together in the discovery of new materials. You will based in the newly-opened Materials Innovation Factory ( at the University of Liverpool, where extensive robotic synthesis facilities are available. As well as obtaining knowledge and experience in materials synthesis and crystallographic techniques, the student will develop skills in teamwork and scientific communication as computational and experimental researchers within the team work closely together. There are extensive opportunities to use synchrotron X-ray and neutron scattering facilities. Applications are welcomed from candidates with a strong undergraduate interest and/or background in organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, materials science or related fields.
Applications are welcomed from students with a 2:1 or higher master’s degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics, or Materials Science, particularly those with some of the skills directly relevant to the project outlined above.

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Funding Notes

EPSRC eligibility
Please refer to the EPSRC website View Website

The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years. The maintenance grant is £15,009 pa for 2019-20, with the possibility of an increase for 2020/21.

GTA eligibility (EU or non-EU students only)
Depending on the successful applicant this studentship would include a commitment to work up to 77 hours per academic year to help with teaching-related activities. The award will pay full home/EU tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years. Non-EU applicants may have to contribute to the higher non-EU overseas fee.


1. Stewart, D.; Antypov, D.; Dyer, M. S.; Pitcher, M. J.; Katsoulidis, A. P.; Chater, P. A.; Blanc, F.; Rosseinsky, M. J., Stable and ordered amide frameworks synthesised under reversible conditions which facilitate error checking. Nature Communications 2017, 8 (1), 1102.
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