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Sustainable routes to porous metal-organic materials


   Pure and Applied Chemistry


About the Project

Porous metal-organic materials are widely investigated because of their potential applications in gas storage and separation, drug delivery, and catalysis, amongst other uses. Some of the most widely used solvents in the synthesis of these materials are highly toxic and subject to legal restrictions, but at the same time they play a crucial role in the formation of the porous materials. Under the supervision of Dr Gavin Craig (Dept. of Pure and Applied Chemistry) and Prof. Ashleigh Fletcher (Dept. of Chemical and Process Engineering), the candidate will investigate the best approaches to improving the sustainability of the synthesis of porous metal-organic materials. The project will involve organic synthesis of ligands and synthesis of coordination complexes, with opportunities to perform a range of physical characterisation techniques. This will include single-crystal X-ray diffraction, powder X-ray diffraction, and gas sorption measurements, as well as training in how to interpret all of the associated data. As the work progresses, there will be opportunities for the candidate to work closely with a Post-Doctoral Research Associate on the incorporation of these materials into composite membranes. The candidate will be trained in writing manuscripts for publication in scientific journals, and strongly supported and encouraged to apply to external funding schemes where appropriate (for example, travel grants from the Royal Society of Chemistry). As part of the PhD programme, the candidate will be registered on the PGCert in Researcher Development. This is a 60 credit qualification covering personal effectiveness, governance, organisation, engagement, impact, and intellectual abilities, running in tandem with the PhD programme.

To apply please contact Dr Craig () with:

  1. A cover letter describing your skills and interest in the project (max. one page).
  2. A CV (maximum 2 pages) and academic transcript. You should have a Masters level (MChem) degree or equivalent (minimum 2:1).
  3. Contact details of two referees.

Funding Notes

Funding is available to cover tuition fees for Home UK applicants (includes applicants with settled status) for 3.5 years from 3 October 2022, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (estimated £15,609 for Session 2022-23).

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