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PhD in Chemistry: Single or Double? A Radical Approach to Synthesis via Frustrated Lewis Pairs Through EPR Characterisation

Project Description

This PhD project aims to characterise electron transfer processes that direct the chemical reactivity of Frustrated Lewis Pairs, opening the potential for divergent reactivities in organic synthesis and small molecule activation. Reaction mechanisms in main group chemistry are currently dominated by two-electron processes; however, we will access direct experimental evidence (via advanced Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectroscopy) to support our hypothesis that single-electron transfer offers an alternative lower-energy pathway to bond formation. Determination of activation mechanisms is paramount for the continued development of synthetic chemistry - we will target new approaches to challenging heterocoupled C-C formation/activation vital to expand the chemical landscape.

The primary responsibility of the PhD student will be to utilise radical FLPs in organic synthesis, to investigate the scope of reactions and optimise reaction conditions.

The student will receive extensive training in both synthetic chemistry (including standard characterisation methods e.g. NMR, GC-MS, UV-Vis), and advanced spectroscopy (including electrochemistry and EPR measurements), with experimental data supplemented by detailed analysis via computer simulations. A fully funded PDRA position is also associated with this project.

Academic criteria

Candidates should hold or expect to gain a first class degree or a good 2.1 and/or an appropriate Master’s level qualification (or their equivalent).

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)


Dr Emma Richards

Dr Rebecca Melen

How to Apply:

Applicants should apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry with a start date of October 2020.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select ’I will be applying for a scholarship/grant’ and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from PhD in Chemistry: Single or Double? A Radical Approach to Synethis via Frustrated Lewis Pairs Through EPR Characterisation’.

Deadline - 31st July 2020

Start date - 1st October 2020

Funding Notes

This is a 3 year funded PhD with Home/EU tuition fees and a standard stipend by the Leverhulme Trust.

This studentship is open to Home, EU or Overseas Candidates.
However, Overseas candidates should note that they will be required to cover the difference between Home and Overseas tuition fees each year.

How good is research at Cardiff University in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.00

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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