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PhD position on Artificial Photosynthetic Systems

   School of Chemistry

   Thursday, June 30, 2022  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The Achilleos Group in the School of Chemistry at University College Dublin (UCD) is seeking one Ph.D. student to work on Artificial Photosynthetic Systems. This Ph.D. studentship, starting 1 September 2022, is for a period of four years and is supported by the School of Chemistry.

The accelerated consumption of fossil fuels and the emerging ecological concerns, due to the alarming concomitant rise in greenhouse gas emissions, emphasize the need for society to transition towards renewable “green” resources. Artificial photosynthesis is a promising approach for mitigating simultaneously both the energy and environmental concerns and for tackling significant global challenges as derived from the UN Sustainable Development goals. This project aims to employ our know how1-8 in photocatalysis as a platform for the development of the next generation of artificial photosynthetic systems so to serve sustainable and low-carbon societies. Key aspects in developing such systems involve (i) the synthesis of non-toxic and inexpensive photocatalysts of organic, inorganic and/or composite nature with excellent light absorption capabilities which can serve photocatalytic and photo electrocatalytic systems. (ii) The replacement of the traditional expensive sacrificial electron donors with cheap/abundant resources often harmful to the environment and/or organic substrates whose oxidation could result in value-added products of industrial significance. (iii) The development/testing of low-cost co-catalysts and electrocatalysts to drive the formation of the desired “green” fuels will be also explored.


(1)  Kasap, H.; Achilleos, D. S.; Huang, A.; Reisner, E. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 11604.

(2)  Kasap, H.; Godin, R.; Jeay-Bizot, C.; Achilleos, D. S. et al. ACS Catal. 2018, 8, 6914.

(3)  Ren, J.; Achilleos, D. S. et al. J. Phys. Chem. Lett 2019, 10, 3843.

(4)  Achilleos, D. S.; Kasap, H.; Reisner, E. UK patent application No. GB1808905.2, 2019.

(5)   Achilleos, D. S.; Kasap, H.; Reisner, E., International patent number: WO 2019/229255 A1 2019.

(6)  Tetzlaff, D.; Simon, C.; Achilleos, D. S. et al. Faraday Discuss. 2019, 215, 216.

(7)  Achilleos, D. S.; Kasap, H.; Reisner, E. Green Chem. 2020, 22, 2831-2839.

(8)  Achilleos, D. S.; Yang, W.; Kasap, H.; Savateev, A.; Markushyna, Y.; Durrant, J. R.; Reisner, E.,. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 18184-18188.

Applications are welcome from students from Ireland/EU with, or expecting to gain, a first class Honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry/Materials Science/Engineering or other relevant scientific discipline. In particular, candidates with experience in photocatalytic and photoelectrocatalytic systems are strongly encouraged to apply. The successful candidate is expected to have excellent communication skills (oral and writing). The position will be filled once the suitable candidate has been identified so early applications are advised.

One scholarship of stipend €17,000 per annum is available for up to 4 years for the successful applicant via funding from the School of Chemistry. Fees (EU level) will be also covered. There will be a requirement to teach in undergraduate laboratories and tutorials as part of the scholarship.

Applications should include a cover letter, CV, detailed academic transcripts and the contact details for at least two academic referees, and should be sent by email to Dr. Demetra Achilleos ().

UCD supports equal opportunities and does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of gender, age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, disability or membership of the traveller community.

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