The production of important fine chemicals, such as pharmaceuticals, relies on the use of homogeneous catalysis. Many key transformations are performed with organometallic, molecular, transition metal complexes. In order to improve the sustainability of chemical synthesis, there is a need to develop new catalysts which can operate at low loadings. The stability of a catalyst is often the main barrier to a catalyst being used industrially, as poor stability requires high loadings of an expensive catalyst. Despite the importance of catalyst deactivation (i.e. the reason that high loadings are needed), this is an area of catalytic science that is not well studied. This project will investigate a number of valuable catalytic reactions (e.g. hydration of alkynes and alkenes, oxidation of alkenes) and will aim to develop an understanding of the factors that influence catalyst performance. Mechanistic studies will examine the influence of conditions and catalyst structure on product selectivity, reaction rate and catalyst stability. The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Paul Dingwall and Dr Mark Muldoon who have the relevant expertise to support a student in this project area. During the PhD, the student will develop a range of skills and knowledge that will make them very employable. For example, the project will involve synthesis (e.g. of ligands and metal complexes) and analytical chemistry (e.g. GC, HPLC, IR, MS and NMR). During the project, the student will also develop other important transferable skills, such as problem solving, writing and presentation skills.
For more information please contact: Dr Paul Dingwall ([Email Address Removed])
Applications must be submitted online, by the deadline, using the QUB Direct Application Portal https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php