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Structural Changes in Metal-Organic Framework Materials

   Department of Material Science and Metallurgy

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  Dr Thomas Bennett  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

A 3.5 year fully funded PhD studentship may be available in the following area. Please contact Tom ([Email Address Removed], @thomasdbennett) in the first instance.

Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are hybrid materials comprised of metal nodes connected via organic linkers. Systematic substitution of metal nodes and linkers, a practice known as crystal engineering, has afforded a diverse family of materials that have found potential applications in catalysis, gas sorption, separations and drug delivery. This has led to the discovery of materials with specific surface areas in excess of 5,000 m2 g-1, which are currently applied in water harvesting, CO2 separation and toxic gas storage settings. Structural transitions within the family are of great importance given (i) the requirement for thermal stability in gas sorption applications, (ii) the possibility of obtaining new functional glasses by melting and (iii) interest in barocaloric applications using MOFs which undergo phase changes near room temperature and pressure.

This project will use differential scanning calorimetry in particular, combined with X-ray diffraction, pair distribution function and gas sorption measurements to investigate the phase change behaviour of a variety of MOFs, and their impact upon applications in environmental remediation, haptic, light emitting and refrigeration technologies.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to look at the research group website ( For further information about the project, please get in touch with Dr. Thomas Bennett ([Email Address Removed]) in advance of applying. Please include to send a CV (two pages maximum) and expression of interest before making a formal application. The deadline for Cambridge Trust funding applications is the 2/12/2021, though applications will continue to be accepted after this date for other schemes.

Applicants should have (or expect to be awarded) an upper second- or first-class UK honours degree at the level of MSci, MEng (or overseas equivalents) and should meet the EPSRC criteria for UK/EU residency and liability for 'home rate' fees. The on-line application system is available at Further information on the application process is available from Rosie Ward ([Email Address Removed]).

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