A fully funded 3.5-year PhD studentship in the area of electrochemical surface science of inorganic clusters on a 2D material is available in the group of Dr Stijn (Stan) Mertens at the Department of Chemistry, Lancaster University, commencing in October 2019.
The research in our group focuses on establishing composition–structure–reactivity relationships of functional materials, for example catalysts, to arrive at an atomic scale understanding of their behaviour. This goal is pursued by combining electrochemical measurements with atomic scale imaging under electrochemical conditions. This understanding, in turn, is expected to unlock rational design of materials with unprecedented levels of catalytic performance, energy storage efficiency, etc.
Electrochemical reactions take place at the interface between an electronic and an ionic conductor. In electrochemical surface science, we work with very well defined surfaces and interfaces that allow using techniques to reveal what is happening down to individual atoms and molecules.
The aim of this PhD project is to explore the electrocatalytic activity of monodisperse tungsten(VI) oxide clusters immobilised on boron nitride nanomesh, an atomically thin insulator with unique properties.
In the course of this project, you will be trained in core electrochemical surface science and analytical techniques, and will have the opportunity to further your knowledge through regular group meetings and seminars. You will have access to advanced equipment, including a new electrochemical surface science laboratory, cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical scanning tunnelling microscopy, and differential electrochemical mass spectrometry.
Applicants will hold, or expect to receive, a 1st class or 2:1 UK Masters-level or BSc degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Physics or a related discipline and possess theoretical and practical skills commensurate with the undergraduate degree programme. The successful candidate will demonstrate a strong interest in experimental physical chemistry, enthusiasm to work in a laboratory environment, willingness to learn, a collaborative attitude, and will possess excellent written and oral communication skills.
We encourage informal e-mail enquiries before submitting an application to Dr Stijn Mertens ([email protected]
). Applications should be made via Lancaster University’s online application system (http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/how-to-apply-for-postgraduate-study/
). Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the position may be filled when a suitable candidate has been identified. Please indicate on your application that you are applying for this funded PhD project.
The Department of Chemistry at Lancaster University provides a research environment that strongly supports the individual needs of each student, and promotes a healthy work–life balance. We are committed to the Athena Swan Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research. Our commitment to these principles is reflected in our recent receipt of an Athena Swan Bronze Award. The Department of Chemistry also operates an informal PhD peer-peer mentor scheme available to all students.