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Synthesis and characterisation of MOF-MXene composites for sustainability applications


   Chemistry

   Wednesday, August 31, 2022  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Supervisory Team:   Dr Darren Bradshaw and Dr Nuno Bimbo

Project description

A fully-funded 4 year PhD studentship in materials chemistry is available at the University of Southampton within the Functional Inorganic, Materials and Supramolecular research group. In addition to carrying out PhD research the student will be closely involved in undergraduate teaching (20% time commitment in years 1-3), and will be supported by mentoring to achieve Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are an exciting class of porous materials composed of metal centres coordinated to organic ligands, forming structures with long range order in two or three dimensions. They exhibit very high porosities, and a high degree of tunability of their structure and properties and have several applications across the sustainability agenda. Often their properties can be significantly enhanced through composite formation, and this project brings together MOFs and a family of two-dimensional transition metal carbides known as MXenes. MXenes have so far shown outstanding properties, particularly high thermal and electrical conductivities and good mechanical resilience and have been considered for a range of applications, demonstrating exceptional performance for electrochemical energy storage and optoelectronic applications. There is a strong indication that they also have potential as adsorbents for strategically important gases such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

By coupling the adsorptive performance and tunable properties of MOFs with some of the thermal, mechanical and electrical properties of MXenes this PhD project aims to create novel composite materials that can act as high-performing adsorbents for hydrogen storage, carbon capture and in battery applications. A range of synthesis methods will be employed, including microwave and mechanochemical methods and the full suite of advanced analytical techniques in the School of Chemistry in Southampton will be available to characterize and evaluate the performance of the composite materials for the proposed applications. The project will be jointly supervised by Dr Darren Bradshaw (Chemistry) and Dr Nuno Bimbo (Chemical Engineering).

As indicated above the student will also participate in undergraduate teaching in inorganic chemistry. In year 1 this will involve teaching lab activities and support teaching with a member of staff (e.g. workshops), but in years 2 and 3 after some experience there will be opportunities to host tutorials or undertake other more responsible roles.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Darren Bradshaw, Email: , Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 076.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent) in Chemistry or Materials science.

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2021 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £16,062 tax-free per annum for 4 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2021/22, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD Chemistry (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Dr Darren Bradshaw

Applications should include:

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/how-to-apply/postgraduate-applications.page

For further information please contact:


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