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Improving materials for a better world: toward clean environment by rational material design

   School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

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  Dr Cristina Giordano  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The replacement of current petroleum based fuels with cleaner energy source, the valorisation of waste, the sustainable production of H2 as powerful fuels, the replacement of the heavy Haber-Bosch process and the reduction of CO2 emission have one thing in common: they all rely on aiding materials to be practically performed. However, call these auxiliaries "catalysts" is reductive, as there is much more to be considered than their mere activity. The aim of this ambitious PhD project is to design materials for the sustainable production of energy and high-added value compounds. The investigation will focus on abundant metals and metallic ceramics, with (but not limited to) high stability, selectivity and activity. The project will be placed in a broader context with collaboration between theory, synthesis and testing, giving the candidate a very broad and robust background in the field of alternative energy. This PhD is open to an ambitious person who wants actively contributing to have a cleaner world for the current and future generations. Characterization of these material via classical and advanced techniques, including X-rays diffraction (XRD), electron microscopy (TEM and SEM), Raman and XPS will be also an essential part of the project and will be performed (where possible directly by the candidate).

The ideal candidate should have a (inorganic- or physical- or colloid-) chemical background, experience in synthesis and related chemistry research/lab expertise.

Before submitting an online application, please email Dr. Giordano ([Email Address Removed]) your motivation letter describing your scientific backgrounds and your interest in performing this project, alongside your complete CV (including two reference names). 

Information about the group:

Dr. Giordano’s group has a long-lasting experience in Nanomaterial Chemistry, design of tailored strategies for the synthesis of advanced nanomaterials and hierarchical nanostructures (for more info see Giordano’s web pages or The group is part of the Material Research Institute of the QMUL (, which represent the ideal platform for dedicated studies on advanced materials, both in terms of equipment and research expertise. The project will be then developed in a multidisciplinary environment and will also be partly accomplished in collaboration with established national and international research groups. 

Information about the place:

“London, capital city of the United Kingdom, is a world cultural capital, a leading global city with strengths in the arts, education, entertainment, fashion, media, research and development. London's 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe and a 2014 report placed it first in the world university rankings” 

The Queen Mary University of London is among the top 4 best Universities in London and among the 100 best Universities world-wide, with a greater international background and infrastructures and several Nobel Laureate, the last one in 2019.

For more information, visit our student FAQs page. If you have any further questions, please contact Dr Giordano

Funding Notes

The studentship will cover tuition fees and provide an annual tax-free maintenance allowance for 3 years at Research Councils UK rates £17,609 in 2020/21.


1. Giordano, C. & Antonietti, M.; Synthesis of crystalline metal nitride and metal carbide nanostructures by sol–gel chemistry; Nano Today 6, 366–380 (2011).
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