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Supramolecular assemblies for artificial photosynthesis

   School of Chemistry

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  Dr T A Barendt  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Solar power provides a clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels and light harvesting has long been a source of renewable energy in Nature. A key stage in photosynthesis is the photoinduced transfer of an electron between molecules to generate high energy chemical intermediates. However, it remains a significant challenge to construct photosynthetic replicas in the laboratory, as an efficient source of green energy. This exciting new PhD project involves using supramolecular chemistry to synthesise cutting-edge light harvesting assemblies that facilitate effective electron transfer and ultimately may be used for next generation solar cells.

Therefore, as well as exposure to a range of organic and inorganic syntheses, the PhD student will develop skills in a variety of spectroscopic and electrochemical techniques to analyse the influence of non-covalent interactions on intermolecular electron transfer. Furthermore, the opportunity to construct materials for solar cells makes this a highly interdisciplinary project. As such, the candidate will also receive training on device fabrication and testing with exposure to specialist facilities and expertise through collaborations both inside and outside the School of Chemistry.

Candidates should be creative, curious and motivated, with an interest in supramolecular chemistry and photochemistry, although no formal experience in these areas is required. By the start of their appointment, applicants should have obtained a strong Master’s degree in Chemistry and not be in possession of a PhD.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with Tim for more information using the details below. Scholarships may be available for suitably qualified candidates.

The School of Chemistry is keen to achieve a gender and diversity balance across the School and welcome applicants from all backgrounds. The School holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognises its work in promoting women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in higher education.


J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 5, 1924-1936

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