Robotic formulation of solar fuel photocatalysts
This position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been found.
Description: The production of clean solar fuels is a major challenge of our time and a longstanding Holy Grail in chemistry. In principle, we can design powdered photocatalysts that produce hydrogen fuel directly from water using sunlight, but so far, the efficiencies of such materials are too low for scale up. One problem is the complexity of these catalysts, and the enormous number of potential combinations that must be trialled.
This project will use a robotic ‘Formulation Engine’ that is being installed next year in the Materials Innovation Factory in Liverpool . This £3 M platform will be able to carry out autonomous research in a range of application areas and it is globally unique. Hence, the student will graduate with a diverse skill set that could launch a career in either academic research or in industry. The project forms part of the £10 M Leverhulme Research Centre for Functional Materials Design, and there will be multiple opportunities to interact with other members of that centre in a range of areas such as experimental chemistry, computational chemistry, robotics, algorithms, and artificial intelligence.
Environment: The studentship will be based in the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF), a new £82 M research facility, supervised by Professor A. I. Cooper FRS, the MIF Academic Director. The studentship is funded by the Leverhulme Research Centre for Functional Materials Design, a £10 M, 10-year activity funded by the Leverhulme Trust. You will be part of the Cooper Group. Twitter: @AICooperGroup
Qualifications: A 2:1 or higher degree or equivalent in Chemistry is required. Ideally, the candidate will also have some programming abilities, but an interest in programming and a willingness to learn are essential.
Depending on the successful applicant (EU or non-EU) this studentship would include a commitment to work up to 50 hours per academic year to help with teaching-related activities in modules currently taught in the Department of Chemistry, as assigned by the Head of Department or his representative. The award will pay full home/EU tuition fees and a maintenance grant (£15,007pa in 201919) for 3.5 years. Non-EU applicants may have to contribute to the higher non-EU overseas fee.