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Novel synthesis & characterisation methods for metal-organic nanosheets

Department of Chemistry

About the Project

Nanomaterials are set to revolutionise every aspect of our lives from electronics to medicine. The remarkable properties shown by graphene have led to the development of a wide variety of other two-dimensional materials. Metal-organic nanosheets (MONs) are a cutting edge class of 2D nanomaterials with the potential for use in applications ranging from ‘smart’ materials and catalysts to solar cells, gas separation and drug delivery.

The aim of the PhD will be to synthesise novel MONs which you will then optimise in terms of dimensional uniformity and defect density, by first pioneering a novel characterisation technique for MONs. Secondary electron spectroscopy and Energy-filtered scanning electron microscopy (EFSEM) is being developed at Sheffield and was already demonstrated to provide chemical mapping with subnanometer resolution. You will adapt this method for the characterisation of MONs. The insights gained from your studies will enable the development of new catalysts, sensors and photovoltaic devices.

The work will be co-supervised by Dr Cornelia Rodenburg in the department of Materials Science and Engineering and could be suitable for a student with a chemistry, materials science, physics or related background. The student will be supported throughout the project with training, mentoring and career development opportunities.

For more information please contact Dr Foster via email () and/or see his staff webpages for further information.

Funding Notes

This project is in nanomaterials synthesis and characterisation. Applicants should have (or expect to obtain) at least the equivalent of a 2.1 honours masters level degree in an appropriate subject. There is currently no funding available for this projects and applicants must indicate how they plan to fund their studies.


[1] J. A. Foster, S. Henke, A. Schneemann, R. A. Fischer and A. K. Cheetham, Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 10474
[2] M. Zhao, Q. Lu, Q. Ma, H. Zhang, Small Methods, 2016, 1600030
[3] R. C. Masters, A. J. Pearson, T. S. Glen, F.-C. Sasam, L. Li, M. Dapor, A. M. Donald, D. G. Lidzey and C. Rodenburg, Nature Communications, 2015, 6, 6928.

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