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PhD Studentship: Investigation of the Surface of Nanostructured Oxides with NMR Spectroscopy

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

Project Description

Applications are invited for a graduate to join the Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool, UK for an EPSRC-funded 42-month Graduate Teaching Assistant PhD studentship.

A large range of heterogeneous catalysis processes and electrochemical reactions take place on the surfaces of oxides. Atomic scale understanding of the structure of these oxides is the key to rationalizing the observed properties and efficiencies, which is often today the key barrier to further developments in many areas, with the ultimate objective being the informed design of improved materials or interfaces. This understanding requires a determination of surface and subsurface structure and therefore new advanced atomic-scale structural elucidation methods are required. Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (SSNMR) spectroscopy is perhaps the richest source of structural information for materials, and we have developed a simple 17O SSNMR strategy to detect the first few layers of a nanomaterial.[1] SSNMR when combined with a dramatic signal enhancement technique such as Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) enables the acquisition of data in seconds, even for insensitive NMR nucleus such as 17O,[2] and Surface Enhanced NMR Spectroscopy (SENS) to be performed.[3]
This project is centered around the structural determination of nanostructure oxide surfaces and will involve materials synthesis and the application of SSNMR methods, including DNP. The student will work in a collaborative, international and multi-disciplinary research team and will have opportunity to travel and visit other SSNMR/DNP facilities.

Further information about research in the Blanc group is available at http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~fblanc/WebsiteLiverpool/Home.html

The successful applicant should have at least a 2:1 Master degree in the UK, or equivalent qualification, in Chemistry, Physics, Materials science or a closely related subject. The candidate should be highly motivated, curious, have competent English communication skills and be able to work both as part of a team and independently. A project experience in NMR spectroscopy and/or materials chemistry would be an advantage, but is not a prerequisite.

Applications should include a cover letter including the applicant motivation in this PhD studentship and a statement on teaching interests and commitment, a full CV, and the contact details of two academic referees and should be sent by email to Dr. Frédéric Blanc ([email protected]) before 29th February 2016 indicating “NMR nanostructured oxides PhD studentship” in the subject line.
The position is available from 1st October 2016.

Funding Notes

The award is available to EU students only and will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 42 months (£14,027 for 2015/2016). The studentship includes a commitment to work up to 144 hours per academic year to help with teaching-related activities in modules currently taught at the Department of Chemistry, as assigned by the Head of Department or his representative.


Ref: [1] Sci. Adv. 2015, 1, e1400133. [2] J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 2975. [3] J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 15459.

How good is research at University of Liverpool in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.00

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

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