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  Online Structural Investigations of Advanced Porous Materials for A Net Zero Future


   Department of Chemistry

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  Prof Sihai Yang, Prof Martin Schroder, Dr Pascal Manuel  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The selective removal and clean-up of greenhouse gas and air pollutants (e.g., CO2, CH4, NOx and SO2) produced from the combustion of fossil fuels is fundamental to the delivery of UK’s 2050 Net Zero Target and to the improvement of air quality. This is, however, a very challenging task. This project aims to perform detailed structural investigations of our newly developed advanced porous materials to understand their mechanism to bind and convert these gases via commissioning of the recently approved sorption instrument by STFC/ISIS at Beamline WISH. This proposed PhD project will: (i) commission the new sorption system at WISH beamline to enable the simultaneous neutron powder diffraction (NPD) and isothermal measurements, currently this is NOT available at ISIS or any other neutron facilities worldwide, to the best of our knowledge; (ii) use this system to probe the active binding sites in various porous materials via online isotherm-NPD analysis; (iii) optimise the system to expand the capability of ISIS to benefit a wider range of research areas. Critically, we will develop a new sample environment to enable the online neutron diffraction-isotherm measurements. This will have a very major impact on throughput and capacity of the ISIS facility and will enable new studies in advanced materials for a Net Zero future. 

Applicant eligibility

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Materials. 

Before you apply 

We strongly recommend that you contact the lead supervisor for this project before you apply. 

Enquiries from potential candidates should be sent to [Email Address Removed].

How to apply 

To be considered for this project you’ll need to complete a formal application through our online application portal

When applying, you’ll need to specify the full name of this project, the name of your supervisor, details of your previous study, and names and contact details of two referees

Your application will not be processed without all of the required documents submitted at the time of application, and we cannot accept responsibility for late or missed deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  

If you have any questions about making an application, please contact our admissions team by emailing [Email Address Removed]

Equality, diversity and inclusion 

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact.

We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status. 

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder). 

Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24)

Funding Notes

Funding for this 4-year project includes tuition fees at the Home rate and minimum UKRI stipend (currently £17,668/annum). Overseas candidates can apply for this project if they are able to cover the difference between the Home and Overseas tuition fees (approximately £22k/annum).

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