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The role of entropy in crystal structures

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

A fully-funded PhD studentship is available to work on a collaborative project held between The University of Edinburgh and The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre to work on the role played by entropy in molecular crystal structures.
The project will be a mixture of practical and computational work, and some experience of or interest in crystallography, quantum mechanics or computer programming would be an advantage.

Application Reference: PHD19SPA1 (please quote this reference on application)

Polymorphism, the formation of different crystal structures by a single compound, is of critical importance in numerous applications, most notably in the solid forms used for pharmaceuticals. It is a very common feature of organic solids, and it is important because different solid forms have different physical properties such as solubility, morphology or tabletting characteristics. The existence of polymorphism is often understood by looking for energetically competitive intermolecular interactions, such as hydrogen bonds. This approach emphasises enthalpy. The effect of entropy is often neglected, so that the free energy characteristics of a polymorphic system is only partially explored.

The project is a collaboration with the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, which compiles and maintains the Cambridge Crystallographic Database and develops software (such as MERCURY) for interrogation of the database and interpretation of structural data. More details on the CCDC and its activities are available at

Informal enquiries should be addressed to , with applications made through the EUCLID system as outlined at Applicants must have a 1st class or an upper 2nd class honours degree (or equivalent) and meet the EPSRC residency requirements, which restrict awards to UK and EU nationals. This studentship will be advertised until a successful candidate has been appointed.

Equality and Diversity
The School of Chemistry holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. The University is a member of the Race Equality Charter and is a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment. See our University Initiatives website for further information. University Initiatives website:

Funding Notes

The project is fully-funded for 42 months, covering home/EU fees and a stipend at the EPSRC standard rate (in the region of £15 000 in academic year 2020-21).

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in Chemistry?
(joint submission with University of St Andrews)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 43.30

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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