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Polyoxometalate Supramolecular Recognition: From Molecular Properties to a Prototype Optoelectronic Transistor (FIELDENJ2U19SF)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Nothing travels faster than light. Therefore, as electronic computing nears its fundamental performance limits, a move to optical, or electro-optical devices would offer the prospect of inherently greater speed, higher parallelism and lower power consumption.(i) Doing so will require high-activity, high-stability non-linear optical (NLO) materials that enable manipulation of laser light, and ideally can be switched by external stimuli.(ii)
We have recently developed NLO materials based on organoimido derivatives of polyoxometalates (POMs) – a very varied class of molecular, nanoscale multimetallic coordination cluster. In some cases, these break through empirical NLO performance limits that apply to purely organic materials.(iii),(iv) The key challenge now is making the step from promising molecular properties, to bulk materials and devices whose properties can be switched. In this project, we will develop a new approach to this by using molecular hosts to encapsulate the POM, and in turn direct formation of an extended material. Such POM hosts offer potentially huge rewards in materials science, but are little investigated so far.(v)
This ambitious PhD project offers a training in molecular inorganic and organic synthesis, characterisation, and physical measurement of both molecular and materials properties. Based in the well-equipped, interdisciplinary Energy Materials Laboratory at UEA, it also involves collaboration with leading international groups. The successful applicant will have, or expect to obtain a first class, 2(i) or equivalent Honours degree in chemistry, and a strong interest in synthetic inorganic chemistry and materials properties. There will be opportunities for Chinese applicants to obtain funding for a project on this topic via our joint PhD programme with SUSTech in Shenzhen. Please contact Dr John Fielden (, 01603 593137) for further information.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

Type of programme: PhD

Project start date: October 2019

Mode of study: Full time

Entry requirements: The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


i) D. G. Feitelson, Optical Computing: A Survey for Computer Scientists, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, United States, 1988.

ii) K. A. Green, M. P. Cifuentes, M. Samoc, M. G. Humphrey, Coord. Chem. Rev. 2011, 255, 2530.

iii) A. Al-Yasari, N. Van Steerteghem, H. El Moll, K. Clays, J. Fielden, Dalton Trans. 2016, 45, 2818.

iv) A. Al-Yasari, N. Van Steerteghem, H. Kearns, H. El Moll, K. Faulds, J. Wright, B. S. Brunschwig, K. Clays, J. Fielden, Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 10181.

v) Y. Wu, R. Shi, Y.-L. Wu, J. M. Holcroft, Z. Liu, M. Frasconi, M. R. Wasielewski, H. Li, J. F. Stoddart, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 4111.

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