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Exploring 2D molecular arrays as a route to controlling the atomic structure of electrocatalytic carbon nanoelectrodes

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  • Full or part time
    Dr T Chamberlain
    Dr A Sweetman
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This inter-disciplinary project, based across the Schools of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Leeds, will develop new nanostructured assemblies on surfaces to be exploited in electrocatalysis and sensing applications. In particular, metal functionalised fullerene derivatives will be synthesised in Dr Chamberlain’s group ( and the affinity of the carbon cages for surfaces will be harnessed to generate 2D molecular arrays via solution and gas phase deposition in ambient and ultra-high vacuum environments in Dr Sweetman’s group ( You will investigate the structural relationship between molecules and supra-molecular arrays in 2D, perform cutting edge surface characterisation of molecular arrays and exploit lithographic techniques to generate bespoke nanostructures. The value of the approach will be demonstrated through utilisation of these structures in exemplar catalytic reactions. In summary, this new approach to generating nanomaterials in which the location of the active species, i.e. the metal component, can be controlled at the atomic scale will open up a whole new set of solutions to the world’s technological challenges.

Funding Notes

UK/EU – Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Studentship for 3.5 years. A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (£4,600 in Session 2020/21), together with a maintenance grant (£15,285 in Session 2020/21) paid at standard Research Council rates. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.

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