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Bimetallic catalysts functionalised by surface covalent organic frameworks for selective hydrogenation catalysis

  • 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

One of the major goals of heterogeneous catalysis in the 21st century is the development of highly selective catalysts in order to minimise unwanted by-products. Many industrial catalysts consist of small metal particles dispersed on high surface area supports. Such particles typically contain a multitude of structurally distinct atomic arrangements of metal atoms. This can result in a range of active sites and often limits catalytic selectivity. This project aims to utilise the methodologies employed in the synthesis of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) to fabricate chemically and thermally stable porous COF architectures on catalytically active metal particles. The aim will be to synthesise arrays of identical nanoreactors on bimetallic particles by adapting a strategy we have recently developed for COF synthesis on Pd/Au surfaces. Methods for post-functionalisation of COFs will be explored in order to provide strategically positioned docking sites to establish control over the adsorption geometry of catalytic reagents and thus enhance catalytic selectivity. The student will be trained in a number of characterisation techniques including scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS), temperature programmed desorption (TPD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and medium energy ion scattering (MEIS).

Funding Notes

UK/EU students with upper second class degree in Chemistry or Chemical Physics or equivalent qualification.

Students interested in undertaking a PhD in this research area should register their interest as soon as possible. Informal enquiries can be made to Professor Chris Baddeley ()

Please see: View Website for the application procedure or e-mail for more information regarding PhD opportunities at St Andrews. We encourage applications from Chinese nationals through the St Andrews CSC Scheme (https://csc.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/) and for the EPSRC CDT in Critical Resource Catalysis (View Website)

Potential applicants are welcome to arrange to visit St Andrews at any time.


(1) Larrea, C. R.; Baddeley, C. J. ChemPhysChem 2016, 17, 971.
(2) Greenwood, J.; Früchtl, H. A.; Baddeley, C. J. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2013, 117, 4515.
(3) Greenwood, J.; Baddeley, C. J. Langmuir 2013, 29, 653.
(4) Jensen, S.; Greenwood, J.; Früchtl, H. A.; Baddeley, C. J. J. Phys. Chem. C 2011, 115, 8630.
(5) Jensen, S.; Früchtl, H. A.; Baddeley, C. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 16706.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 37.30

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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