We are offering self-funding PhD opportunities based in transition metal coordination chemistry, in the group of Dr. John Fielden. These have relevance to light energy conversion (to electricity or fuels),(i) or manipulating light for applications in data processing and biological imaging,(ii) and are underpinned by a fascination with fundamental self-assembly processes in coordination compounds, clusters and nanostructures. We enjoy excellent facilities based in the interdisciplinary Energy Materials Laboratory, and currently available projects include:
(i) Development of novel donor-acceptor chromophore systems based on hybrid polyoxometalates (POMs).(iii) These are aimed at improving the performance of p-type dye-sensitized solar cells.(iv) POMs are stable, multi-electron acceptors with tunable potentials, and as such are ideal candidates for use as surface acceptor groups which will reduce the tendency of these systems to lose current through fast electron-hole pair recombination. We are also interested in these materials for their non-linear optical properties (laser light frequency doubling and two-photon absorption
(ii) Controlling the self-assembly of POM clusters, through synthesis of organic nano-containers appended with hydrogen bonding, metal coordinating or other linkage-forming groups (collaboration with Professor Andy Cammidge). This project promises to find new ways to organize catalytically, electronically and magnetically interesting clusters into photoactive, functional nanostructures.
(iii) Developing nano-porous copper iodide electrodes for application in solar energy conversion, and potentially catalysis.
These PhD opportunities promise development of skills in inorganic and organic synthesis, characterization and potentially advanced physical methods. The candidate will have, or expect to obtain a first class, 2(i) or equivalent Honours degree in chemistry, and possess a strong interest in synthetic inorganic chemistry and materials properties. Informal enquiries can be made to Dr. John Fielden ([email protected]
, 01603 593137).
i) X. Xiang, J. Fielden, W. Rodríguez-Córdoba, Zhuangqun Huang, Naifei Zhang, Zhen Luo, D. G. Musaev, T. Lian and C. L. Hill, J. Phys. Chem. C 2013, 117, 918.
ii) B. J. Coe, J. Fielden, S. P. Foxon, B. S. Brunschwig, I. Asselberghs, K. Clays, A. Samoc, M. Samoc, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 3496.
iii) J. Zhang, F. Xiao, J. Hao, Y. Wei, Dalton Trans. 2012, 41, 3599.
iv) E. A. Gibson, A. L. Smeigh. L. Le Pleux, J. Fortage, G. Boschloo, E. Blart, Y. Pellegrin, F. Odobel, A. Hagfeldt and L. Hammarström, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 4402
v) T. A Brooks, S. Kendrick, L. Hurley, FEBS J. 2010, 277, 3459.