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Velocity Map Imaging Study of Atmospherically Relevant Gas Liquid Reactions

School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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Dr SJ Greaves No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

You will use state-of-the-art experimental and theoretical methods to study the dynamics of atmospherically relevant reactions that occur at the gas-liquid interface. Investigating the chemical structure of the gas-liquid interface and the reaction mechanisms that occur in this unique environment will improve our understanding of key atmospheric processes.

This project will study reactions at the gas-liquid interface using novel experimental strategies combined with unique computational techniques. Based on proof-of-concept experiments [Rev. Sci. Instrum. 87 106104 (2016) (] you will commission a new apparatus to study chemical reactions at the gas-liquid interface in unprecedented detail, using high-resolution laser-based techniques coupled with velocity map imaging (VMI) methods. This imaging technique allows us to take ‘pictures’ of the fate of products of chemical reactions, which will allow us to develop an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms involved.

Enhancing the state-of-the-art VMI technique to study the gas-liquid interface will give us a unique multiplexing advantage over the other techniques currently used to study the gas-liquid interface. In combination with computational techniques you will be able to unravel the intricate multichannel dynamics that occur at the gas-liquid interface with unprecedented resolution. One aspect of the work will be the study the reactions of Chlorine atoms at the gas-liquid interface. Chlorine atoms are highly important in atmospheric chemistry where they are a potent oxidizing species (in some cases as important as the OH radical). You will study reactions of Chlorine atoms with liquid hydrocarbon surfaces possessing different chemical functionality. Along with the study of pure liquids we will study mixtures of liquids these liquids to determine the surface preference of different types of functional groups, e.g. the C=C group. The oxidation of the C=C group in the atmosphere is a key step in secondary aerosol formation, and studies have found that the uptake of reactive radicals scales with the number of double bonds in the molecule.

Name of supervisor: Dr Stuart Greaves, email: [Email Address Removed]

All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MSci, MEng or equivalent degree by Autumn 2020. Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or by Skype). This scholarship is only open to UK/EU applicants who meet residency requirements set out by EPSRC.

Level of Award
We have a number of scholarships available. The annual stipend will be approx. £15,000 and full fees will be paid for 3.5 years.

Closing Date
All applications must be received by 28th February 2020. All successful candidates should usually expect to start in September/October 2020.

How to Apply
Apply Online:
When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:
(a) in ‘Study Option’
You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Chemistry PhD and select September 2020 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)
(b) in ‘Research Project Information’
You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.

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