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Fluorination of Metal-Organic Frameworks

   Department of Chemistry

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  Dr M Attfield, Dr S Yang, Dr D Lee  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

An EPSRC DTG funded PhD studentship is available in the Centre for Nanoporous Materials, Department of Chemistry for an excellent chemist in the field of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).

MOFs are an exciting, and the largest, family of crystalline nanoporous material that is receiving global research attention for numerous uses including commercial and pilot plant applications for the storage of toxic gases, carbon capture, dehumidification - water harvesting and the control of fruit ripening.[1]

Due to the vast number of MOFs, a recent trend is to modify available MOFs in a designed manner to adapt their properties and enhance their application performance. One apparently simple modification is to incorporate fluoride (F-) anions into the inorganic component of the MOF framework. Inclusion of fluoride anions in this framework component can produce MOFs with exceptional selectivity, recyclability and moisture stability for CO2 separations,[2] or change the onset and degree of framework opening and closing transitions.[3]

This project aims to develop methods to replace specific amounts of hydroxide or oxide anions for fluoride anions in the subset of MOFs that contain hydroxide or oxide anions as part of the zero-, one- or two-dimensional inorganic component of the MOF. This will crucially result in routes to produce MOFs with modified properties and enhanced performance in a designed manner. The project will involve the modified syntheses of MOFs, ex- and in-situ characterisation and testing of a range of properties including thermoresponsive, gas adsorption/ separation and electrical behaviours. The studentship will be based in Manchester but may 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, powder and single crystal X-ray diffraction, crystallography, solid state NMR spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, gas adsorption and separation.

Academic background of candidates 

Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, a first or upper second class honours degree (or an equivalent degree) in Chemistry and be a citizen of the UK. Experience of solid state/ materials chemistry synthesis and characterisation techniques would be advantageous, although not a necessity as full training will be provided.

Complete an online application form using the following web link

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.

Contact for further Information

[Email Address Removed]

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder).

All appointments are made on merit.


Funding Notes

This is a 3.5 year EPSRC DTG studentship. Funding will cover UK tuition fee and stipend only. The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of scholarships that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.
Start date: September 2022


[1] J. R. Long, O. M. Yaghi, Chem. Soc. Rev., 38, 1213 (2009).
[2] P. Nugent et al., Nature, 495, 80 (2013).
[3] C. Nanthamathee et al., Chem. Mater., 27, 85 (2015).

How good is research at The University of Manchester in Chemistry?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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