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Sum-Frequency Generation (SFG) Spectroscopy of Fuel Cells

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 22, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are fuel flexible, in-principle able to work with H2, CH4 and higher hydrocarbons. The development of such technologies is important if we are to realise the goal of sustainable fuel utilisation. SFG spectroscopy is an ideal tool to study fuel cell chemistry in-situ; as it is a 2nd order non-linear process SFG occurs selectively at interfaces. Therefore it is possible to measure the vibrational spectrum of surface species even in the presence of similar molecules in the bulk that would otherwise prevent their observation. The successful student will utilise a recently developed SFG experiment at Liverpool and work alongside our successful spectroscopic team who have been applying these experiment to the electrochemical mechanisms of fuel generation (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139(39), 13791-13797 and Nature Catalysis 2018, 1, 952-959)
The work will be novel and offers a chance to address the most pressing general questions in fuel cell chemistry by building a molecular-level understanding of oxidation mechanisms that will facilitate the move towards direct/low steam hydrocarbon (e.g CH4) utilisation. Applications are encouraged from highly motivated candidates who have, or expect to have, at least a 2:1 degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Materials of Physics.

The post is open to EU/UK candidates and provides full tuition fees and a stipend at UKRI standard rates (currently £14,777 p.a.). Some teaching duties may be required to be carried out during the PhD studentship. Applications should be made as soon as possible but no later than 22/2/2019. Informal enquiries are also encouraged and should be addressed to

Funding Notes

The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years (currently £14,777 p.a.) and it is anticipated that the successful candidate will start in October 2019. Applications from candidates meeting the eligibility requirements of the EPSRC are welcome – please refer to the EPSRC website.

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