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Synthetic approaches to hydrophobic Metal-Organic Frameworks

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  • Full or part time
    Dr C Hawes
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Probing guest exchange in hydrophobic Metal-Organic Frameworks

Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are an exciting class of crystalline, polymeric coordination compounds with customizable microporous structures. MOFs have the potential to revolutionize chemical separation processes, however a major drawback is the interaction of water with these materials. Even in the (still relatively few) completely water-stable MOFs, the competitive adsorption of water is a pitfall in any process involving aqueous or humid environments. This stems from the fundamental chemistry of MOFs, the overwhelming majority of which are prepared from polar aromatic ligands. Dr Hawes is interested in developing new classes of organic ligands to add hydrophobicity to these materials without sacrificing pore volume or structural rigidity.

This project blends elements of organic synthesis with structural coordination chemistry and materials science. The successful student will be trained in a broad range of cutting-edge synthetic and analytical methods, with particular focus on X-ray crystallography, thermal analysis and adsorption techniques. These will be performed both in-house and through international collaborations.

For informal enquiries on this project, contact Dr Chris Hawes by email: [Email Address Removed] For more information about Dr Hawes’ research and group, visit

Studentship available from July 2019 (flexible)

Please quote FNS GS 2019-03 on your application.

Keele University values diversity, and is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity. In support of these commitments, Keele University particularly welcomes applications from women and from individuals of black and ethnic minority backgrounds for this post. The School of Chemical and Physical Sciences and Keele University have both been awarded Athena Swan awards and Keele University is a member of the Disability Confident scheme. More information is available on these web pages:

Funding Notes

Funding support is provided as follows;
100% UK/EU tuition fees for 3 years commencing Academic year 2018/2019. Stipend support for three years at Research Council rates (2018/9 £14,777 per annum).
Source of funding: School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Keele University

UK & EU citizens are eligible for full funding.

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