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Selective C-H and C-C functionalisations of unactivated arenes

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, June 30, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Enthusiastic graduates are invited to apply for a 36-month PhD studentship available in the research group of Dr Alexey Sergeev in the Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool, UK, from October 1, 2020.

This PhD program will focus on designing conceptually new metal-catalysed selective C-H/C-C functionalisations in arenes without directing groups. The project aims to achieve this goal by exploring the unique reactivity of transition metal complexes that contain arenes in a rare eta-4 coordination mode (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019,141, 6048; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 3266). This coordination mode bends the aromatic ring enabling it to undergo a range of unconventional selective C-C and C-H activations, which have an excellent potential for the development of synthetically useful arene functionalisations. The project will involve synthetic and mechanistic studies, which will be supported by DFT computations in collaboration with our UoL colleagues.

During work on the project, the candidate will receive extensive training in organic and organometallic synthesis using Schlenk and glovebox techniques and will have hands-on experience in application of modern analytical methods (NMR, MS, GC, GC/MS). The knowledge and skills developed will provide the candidate with a solid foundation for his/her future academic or industrial career in organic chemistry and catalysis.

We are looking for creative and highly motivated graduates with Masters degree in chemistry (1/2.1 class or equivalent qualification). Excellent experimental skills and knowledge of organic chemistry are required; a background in organometallic chemistry and catalysis would be an advantage.
Some teaching duties may be required.

Application details:
Applications should be made as soon as possible but no later than 30 June 2020. Informal enquiries are also encouraged and should be addressed to Dr Alexey Sergeev ().

To apply for this opportunity, please visit:
and please quote Studentship Reference: CCPR004 in the Finance Section of the Application Form.

Funding Notes

The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years (currently £ 15.009 p.a.) . Due to funding restrictions this position is open to EU/UK citizens only. Please see details on the EPSRC website: View Website


1) Jakoobi, M.; Tian, Y.; Boulatov, R.; Sergeev, A. G. Reversible Insertion of Ir into Arene Ring C-C Bonds with Improved Regioselectivity at a Higher Reaction Temperature. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 6048-6053
2) Jakoobi, M.; Halcovitch, N.; Whitehead, G. F. S.; Sergeev, A. G. Selective Arene Cleavage by Direct Insertion of Iridium into the Aromatic Ring. Angew. Chem. Int Ed., 2017, 56, 3266-3269.

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