We have broad interests in supramolecular and theoretical chemistries, and in this project will use these to engineer and understand the properties of novel energetic materials.
This industrially sponsored project will work in collaboration with the Falcon Project Ltd and colleagues at the Hartree Centre to synthesise energetic materials based on computationally evaluated models / design principles that inform synthesis. To achieve this, we will use a variety of macrocyclic molecules as platforms for synthesising model / target compounds in line with theoretical predictions. These will aim to exploit non-covalent interactions commonly observed in supramolecular systems, with the ultimate goal being to understand how energetic components can be engineered into materials in a programmed or rational manner. This will create feedback loops for theoretical design enhancement, and once developed, we will study the physical properties of these species in-house with the Falcon Project Ltd. Finally, there is scope for this project to lead to future employment with the Falcon Project Ltd. upon completion of the doctoral study. The project aligns with the recently opened National Robotarium (https://thenationalrobotarium.com) at Heriot-Watt University, and there will be opportunities to integrate into this Research Institute during the course of doctoral study.
Programme of study: The work is interdisciplinary and will involve synthetic chemistry, analysis using a range of techniques (NMR, MS, XRD, IR, UV-vis etc), synthesis of functionalised / tailored macrocyclic molecules, and the study of assembly modes / properties at Heriot-Watt University. The physical properties of energetic systems will be studied at the Falcon Project using specialised equipment. Doctoral studies will be supported through a range of training opportunities (e.g., summer schools and specialised national / international courses on energetic materials), significantly enhancing the PGR experience and employment potential as a result. HWU also has excellent training courses for PGRs (run by the Research Futures Academy) that enhance transferrable skills and include topics such as applying for funding.
Please contact Dr Scott Dalgarno ([Email Address Removed]) for further information.