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Nanoporous Materials for Sensors and Catalytic Applications

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, May 01, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The aim of this project is to develop nanostructured materials based on zeolites and MOFs as
catalysts and sensors for environmental applications. In this project, we will identify and synthesize
micro- and meso-porous materials with defined porous structures and binding sites suitable for
selective electrochemical sensor devices, or specific recognition sites with coupled chromophores or
fluorophores for colourimetric sensing. In addition, zeolite based micro- and meso-porous materials
will be designed and utilised in catalytic transformations of bulky molecules for environmental
applications. Depending on your interests and the project requirements, the research work could
also be focused on the development of new approaches and methodologies for the characterisation
of zeolite-based sensors and catalysts. The project will give you an opportunity to achieve a
professional level in the preparation and characterisation of nanostructured materials and their

Research Environment: The research group specialises in several aspects of catalysis and materials
science including (1) catalysis on zeolites, (2) characterisation of microporous materials using in
situ spectroscopic studies, and (3) the application of nanostructured materials in catalysis,
separation and sensors.

Keele offers a very dynamic research environment and well-equipped chemical and analytical
laboratories with a wide range of facilities available, including XRD, SEM-EDX, XPS, BET, TGA,
Raman, FTIR, UV-Vis and fluorescence spectroscopy, 400 MHz (MAS)NMR, ICP-OES, ICP-MS,
LC-MS, GC-MS, and a number of in situ cells such as DRUV-Vis, ATR-IR, DRIFTS and in situ
XRD. There are also opportunities to access central facilities, such as the Diamond Synchrotron
source, and to gain experience working abroad in the laboratories of our collaborators overseas.

Applications are invited from candidates who have attained a good 1st or upper 2nd Class Honours
degree or an MSc in Chemistry or related disciplines, e.g. Chemical Engineering or Materials
Science. The successful candidate should possess excellent background knowledge in zeolites,
inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry or materials chemistry.

For further details about the project please contact Dr. Vladimir Zholobenko (Tel: 44 (0)1782734352; e-mail: ).

In the first instance applicants should email a full CV, including details of all University course
grades to date and the details of two academic references, and a short statement or covering letter
outlining their motivation and suitability for the PhD programme and research interests.

Closing date: 1st May 2019 in the first instance, with the interviews planned throughout spring-
summer 2019. Applications will be considered until the post is filled.

Keele University values diversity, and is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity. In
support of these commitments, Keele University particularly welcomes applications from
women and from individuals of black and ethnic minority backgrounds for this post. The
School of Chemical and Physical Sciences and Keele University have both been awarded Athena
Swan awards, and Keele University is a member of the Disability Confident scheme. More
information is available on these web pages:

Funding Notes

This studentship consists of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK
Research Council National Minimum (2019-2020 stipend £15,009 tax free, updated each year). One
studentship is available. UK and EU nationals and legally permanent residents are eligible for full funding (tuition fees and stipend at UKRC rate). International students may apply but will need to cover the difference between UK/EU and International fees.

Source of funding: School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Keele University

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