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Kickstarting the Au-H Bond: Towards Cooperative Reversible H2 Activation at Gold (ROCHIGIANILU20SCIEC)

Project Description

The research activity of Dr Rocchigiani focuses on the investigation of structure, bonding and reactivity of transition organometallic complexes with important catalytic applications in solution. Recent breakthroughs involve the observation of unprecedented intermediates of highly valent gold, such as the first Au(III) σ alkyne complexes and Au(III) charged hydrides and dihydrides. We use these complexes as functional models for the understanding of the outstanding catalytic properties of Au in both homogeneous and heterogeneous phase.

This highly challenging PhD project will focus on new synthetic and mechanistic developments towards the heterolytic splitting of H2 by well-defined Au(I) and Au(III) complexes. In particular, the candidate will target novel labile adducts between gold complexes and Lewis bases, and will exploit them for cleaving H-H bonds into hydride and proton ions. These elementary steps will constitute the elements of potential catalyst for hydrogen delivery to unsaturated substrates. Spectroscopic techniques will be extensively used for the characterization of products, reactive intermediates and mechanisms.

The candidate will benefit from different sources of training, which will also address transferable skills aimed at improved employability (problem solving, scientific writing, critical thinking).

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

This is a PhD programme.

The start date of the project is 1 October 2020.

The mode of study is full-time. The studentship length is 3 years.

Entry requirements:

Acceptable first degree in Chemistry.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a competition for a Faculty of Science funded studentship. Funding is available to UK/EU applicants and comprises home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,009 for 3 years. Overseas applicants may apply but they are required to fund the difference between home/EU and overseas tuition fees (which for 2019-20 are detailed on the University’s fees pages at View Website . Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual increase).

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