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Synthesis of fluorescent carbon dots from biomass derivatives

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, April 15, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

We are seeking a PhD student to join the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College within the research group of Prof. Titirici to investigate the synthesis of fluorescent carbon dots from biomass derivatives produced using hydrothermal processes and to understand their interaction with light. It will be determined whether these low-cost biomaterials will be able to generate excitons and separate them into electrons and holes upon irradiation with light and how different structural features of the carbon dots will influence their lifetime and mobility of electrons/holes in the exited states. Hybrids with other well-known semiconductors will also be prepared and characterised for their physicochemical properties as well as in the exited states. Of interest will be to understand how the carbon dots will be able to photosensitise existing well-known semiconductors such as C3N4 or conjugated polymers. Finally, we will investigate the ability of these carbon dots alone or in conjunction with other semiconductors to be involved in oxidation reactions from simple reactions such as oxidation of phenol to more complex reactions such as oxidation of important biomass derivatives such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural into other high-value products such as 5-hydroxy-4-keto-2-pentenoic acid or other chemicals like 2,5-diformylfuran or even 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid.

Applicants should have broad interests in carbon materials synthesis, characterisation and photochemistry. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills, which will be essential for collaborations, disseminating the results via journal publications and attendance at international conferences. Applicants are expected to have obtained (or be heading for) a First or Upper-second degree at Master’s level (or equivalent) in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering/ Materials and be highly motivated.

Funding Notes

This post is financially supported by the department of Chemical Engineering as part the start-up package and relocation of Prof. Titirici from Queen Mary to Imperial College.

The successful candidate will receive the following financial support:

Full funding for tuition fees and stipend of £16,553 per annum for 3 years, followed by 6 months of stipend to support write-up.

How good is research at Imperial College London in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 172.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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