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Nanostructured Silicon from Solution-Phase Precursors

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Stephen Moggach
    Dr M Cowley
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a 3 year PhD studentship in a collaborative project run between the Cowley and Moggach groups at the EaStChem School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh.

This project will demonstrate size- and shape-controlled synthesis of nanostructured elemental silicon by exploiting the decomposition of silane precursors within microporous metal-organic frameworks. Research in the Cowley group focuses on all aspects of main-group chemistry, with a particular focus on low-oxidation state or low-valent systems, while the Moggach group specialise in advanced crystallographic techniques, including the use of in-situ gas and diamond anvil cells to explore the structural stability and specificity of porous materials. More information about the two groups is available at and

The student undertaking this project will receive training in an extremely wide variety of techniques, including inert atmosphere synthesis, X-ray crystallography (including at high pressure), multinuclear NMR, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry. The practical skills gained will be complemented by scientific problem solving and presentations required in group meetings, and the student will have opportunities to present their work at suitable national and/or international conferences.

Applicants should possess a recent chemistry degree (first class or 2(i), or equivalent). The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in inorganic and/or organometallic chemistry, some experience of inorganic synthesis (or a closely related area), and excellent written and oral communication skills. Previous experience in the preparation and manipulation of air- and moisture-sensitive compounds, and/or single-crystal X-ray crystallography is highly desirable, but not a prerequisite.

The fully-funded (UK/EU tuition fees & stipend) 36-month PhD studentship is available to start 1st September 2017. The stipend rate for 2017/18 is £14,553 per annum. The position will remain open until filled. Applicants are expected to meet the EPSRC residency requirements:


Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Dr Michael Cowley ([Email Address Removed]) and Dr Stephen Moggach ([Email Address Removed]) To apply, please send a covering letter outlining your previous research experience and reasons for applying, alongside .an up-to-date CV with details of two referees to [Email Address Removed] and [Email Address Removed].

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in Chemistry?
(joint submission with University of St Andrews)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 43.30

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

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