Kingston University Featured PhD Programmes
University of Glasgow Featured PhD Programmes
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Featured PhD Programmes
University of Kent Featured PhD Programmes
University College London Featured PhD Programmes

Molecular surface species and mechanism in energy conversion

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, May 12, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) at the University of Bath has now launched a new joint PhD programme with Monash University, Australia. The Bath Monash Global PhD Programme will have its first intake in October this year.

This project is one of a number that are in competition for up to four funded studentships. More details are available here:

Home institution: University of Bath
Supervisors at Bath: Dr Ulrich Hintermair (lead) and Professor Frank Marken
Supervisor at Monash: Dr Jie Zhang

Understanding electron transfer processes at solid-liquid interfaces (i.e. electrode surfaces) is key to efficient renewable energy conversion, such as wind- or solar-powered electrolysis of water to generate clean energy vectors such as hydrogen. The molecular approach is an alternative to fabricating monolithic materials and a way of gaining better control over the kinetics of electrocatalytic charge transfer at the interface (analogous to biological processes). Here, the use of tailored-made molecular adsorbates is envisaged on the surfaces of cheap and abundant electrode materials such as graphite. Using molecular electrocatalysts that can be synthesized and characterized in solution before being mono-layer deposited onto suitable electrodes offers many advantages over traditional alternative approaches. In this project we will combine key expertise in the quantitative study of electrocatalysis and electroanalysis (Zhang), molecular catalysis for energy conversion (Hintermair), and (nano)electrochemistry and sensing (Marken) to develop new molecular materials for selective and efficient energy conversion schemes including those needed in water splitting, CO2 and heterocycle reduction, and in N2 activation.


We invite applications from Science and Engineering graduates who have, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second class degree and have a strong interest in Sustainable Chemical Technologies.

You may express an interest in up to three projects in order of preference. See the CSCT website for more information:

Please submit your application to the Home institution of your preferred project. However, please note that you are applying for a joint PhD programme and applications will be processed as such.

If this is your preferred project, apply using Bath’s online application form:
Please quote ‘Bath Monash PhD studentship’ in the Finance section and the lead supervisor(s)’ name(s) and project title(s) in the ‘Your research interests’ section. More information on applying to Bath may be found here:

If the Home institution of your preferred project is Monash, apply here:

Enquiries about the application process should be sent to .

Funding Notes

Bath Monash PhD studentships include tuition fee sponsorship and a living allowance (stipend) for the course duration (up to 42 months maximum). Note, however, that studentships for Bath-based projects will provide cover for UK/EU tuition fees ONLY. Non-Australian nationals studying in Australia will be required to pay their own Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Additional and suitably qualified applicants who can access a scholarship/studentship from other sources will be also considered.


1. “Graphene-Supported [{Ru4O4(OH)2 (H2O)4}g-SiW10O36)2]10- for Highly Efficient Electrocatalytic Water Oxidation”, S.-X. Guo, Y. Liu, C.-Y. Lee, A.M. Bond, J. Zhang,* Y.V. Geletii, C.L. Hill*, Energy Environ. Sci. 2013, 6, 2654 - 2663.
2. “A Molecular Catalyst for Water Oxidation that Binds to Metal Oxide Surfaces”, S. W. Sheehan,* J. M. Thomsen, U. Hintermair,* R. H. Crabtree, G. W. Brudvig,* C. A. Schmuttenmaer, Nature Communications 2015, 6, 6469.
3. “Electrochemical and Kinetic Insights into Molecular Water Oxidation Catalysts Derived from Cp*Ir(pyalk) Complexes”, E. V. Sackville, F. Marken, U. Hintermair*, ChemCatChem 2018, 10 (19), 4280–4291.
4. “The thermoelectrochemistry of the aqueous iron(ii)/iron(iii) redox couple: Significance of the anion and pH in thermogalvanic thermal-to-electrical energy conversion”, M. A. Buckingham, F. Marken,* L. Aldous*, Sustainable Energy and Fuels 2018, 12, 2717-2726.

How good is research at University of Bath in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.