Energetic or high energy-density materials are the key ingredient in the manufacture of propellants, explosives and pyrotechnics. Recent developments in efforts to improve health, safety and sustainability in the special area of initiatory explosives have identified the deleterious effects of the toxic heavy metal content in lead azide with respect to its chemical manufacture, processing to make and use of devices, and disposal. The PhD project will carry out fundamental research aimed at finding lead-free material that possesses suitable energetic properties. In particular, lab-based work will be aimed at the intriguing experimental study into the synthesis and reactivity and the characterisation of novel transition metal-containing nitroazolates. This includes, amongst others, crystallographic structure determination, spectroscopy, thermal analysis and sensitivity testing. The suitable candidate will benefit from long-standing and extensive experience in synthetic coordination and energetic materials chemistry in the group of Dr Portius and the accompanying series of publications in the area. He or she will also be given opportunities to collaborate with project partners at the University of Edinburgh on crystallography and structure-property prediction, as well as with Qinetiq on the characterisation and evaluation of suitable candidate materials. Eligible postgraduates will have an interest in energy storage, materials for energy applications and especially synthetic coordination chemistry and the related characterisation techniques. Having completed a final-year project in preparative chemistry will be helpful.
Entry Requirements: We usually ask for a first-class or upper second class (2:1) MChem or MSc degree, or equivalent experience, in chemistry, chemical physics, chemical engineering, materials, or a relevant biological science.