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Mechanisms and applications of collisions at liquid surfaces

School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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Prof K G McKendrick No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

You will study the dynamics of scattering at the gas-liquid interface. You will improve fundamental understanding of mechanisms of collisions at atmospherically relevant surfaces and explore the exploitation of this insight through new methods to probe the surfaces of technologically interesting materials.

The gas-liquid interface plays a crucial role in many diverse chemical environments, including evaporation, respiration, gas capture and storage, and multiphase catalysis. In the atmosphere, crucial reactions take place at the surfaces of aerosol particles. Nevertheless, despite its practical importance, this interface remains one of the least well explored. You will carry out experiments on the dynamics of gas-liquid interfacial collisions with the aim of improving the understanding of the mechanisms of reactive and inelastic collisions. The systems chosen will include processes directly relevant to atmospheric aerosol chemistry, including measurements of OH scattering at representative organic liquid surfaces. The methodologies you will help to develop include novel applications of real-space imaging of the inelastically scattered OH; and frequency-modulated infrared probing of the reactive product H2O. In a parallel, related strand of research, you will help to exploit this mechanistic understanding by developing new methods to probe the surface structures of technologically interesting materials. Building on our recent successful proof of principle, you will aim to extend the range of projectiles for the RAS (reactive-atom scattering) method to detect new chemical functionalities at the outer layers of ionic liquids.

Name of supervisor: Prof Ken McKendrick, email: [Email Address Removed]

All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MSci, MEng or equivalent degree by Autumn 2020. Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or by Skype). Some of our scholarships are only open to UK/EU applicants who meet residency requirements set out by EPSRC. Some scholarships are available for exceptional overseas candidates

Closing Date
All applications must be received by 28th February 2020. All successful candidates should usually expect to start in September/October 2020.

How to Apply
Apply Online:
When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:
(a) in ‘Study Option’
You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Chemistry PhD and select September 2020 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)
(b) in ‘Research Project Information’
You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.

Funding Notes

Level of Award: We have a number of scholarships available. The annual stipend will be approx. £15,000 and full fees will be paid for a period of between 3 to 3.5 years.
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