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Supramolecular sensors for the detection and removal of environmental pollutants

School of Chemistry

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

About the Project

The development of selective supramolecular sensors that undergo a macroscopic, detectable response upon binding a particular substrate is an intense area of interest. These molecular probes are essential for the detection of small organic environmental pollutants such as naphthalenes. Components of pesticides, these polyaromatic hydrocarbons are toxic to mammals, thereby necessitating their detection and removal when they are leeched into water sources. Therefore, the aim of this PhD project is to develop a new range of supramolecular sensors and devices, based on fluorescent macrocycles, that can be used “in the field” to detect and ultimately remove these pollutants.

The researcher will develop skills in molecular synthesis, analytical techniques associated with supramolecular chemistry and a variety of different spectroscopies. Furthermore, the aspect of device manufacture makes this a highly interdisciplinary project, meaning the candidate will receive training on surface functionalisation and material fabrication for effluent analysis and purification, 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.
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