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High-throughput Exploration of New Porous Materials

   Department of Chemistry

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  Prof M J Rosseinsky, Dr J Claridge, Dr A Katsoulidis  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Liverpool United Kingdom Computational Chemistry Data Analysis Inorganic Chemistry Computer Science Mathematics Physical Chemistry Synthetic Chemistry

About the Project

The PhD position is funded by the Leverhulme Centre for Functional Materials Design at the University of Liverpool via the Leverhulme Trust. The centre aims to bring together chemical knowledge with state-of-the-art computer science and automated technologies to develop a new approach to revolutionize the design of functional materials at the atomic scale.

New porous materials are important for advances in key technologies such as carbon dioxide sequestration and storage or catalysts for clean manufacturing. However, at present we do not have the experimental tools with the scale and speed to efficiently explore the vast chemical space available. This project will harness recent advances in robotics, computer science and experimental design to efficiently explore the discovery of new porous materials. The student will design and execute experiments on state-of-the-art robotic synthesis platforms, develop the required measurement approaches to extract and analyse data from the arrays of materials prepared using the robots, and investigate representations of the available knowledge in order to support automated reasoning about the best set of subsequent experiments.

Training in robotics, chemistry and experimental design will be given. The project will develop protocols to identify materials of interest for gas separation (focusing on capturing carbon dioxide from flue gas) and catalysis (transformation of biomass for next-generation clean manufacturing) applications that will focus the large numbers of new materials identified for further detailed exploration. The project is driven by a vision of a future where research scientists will make routine, broad use of robotics and artificial intelligence as part of the discovery of advanced materials, and thus the project will prepare the student for a wide range of industrial and academic career opportunities.

The project will take place in the newly opened Materials Innovation Factory and forms part of the Leverhulme Research Centre for Functional Materials Design (LRC). The LRC will provide support in both automation development and the development of appropriate experimental design approaches, exploiting the close interactions between physical and computer science that are at the core of the Centre vision.

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.

To apply for this opportunity, please visit: Please quote reference CCPR015 in the funding section of the online application form.

For any enquiries please contact Dr Alexandros Katsoulidis on

Funding Notes

The award is primarily available to UK students and will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 42 months (£15,609 for 2021/2022). EU and non-EU students are eligible to apply but would need to have their own funding to cover the difference between the UK and international tuition fees. Please refer to our Fees and Funding webpage View Website. EU students starting before 1st October 2021 may be eligible for the reduced UK fee rate.
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