A fully-funded 4 year PhD studentship in Materials Chemistry is available under the joint supervision of Dr John Griffin (Lancaster University) and Dr Nathan Barrow (Johnson Matthey plc). This project is an industrial CASE collaboration meaning that the student will be based at Lancaster University but will spend at least 3 months over the 4 years working at the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre near Reading.
The aim of this project is to develop and apply methodologies for observing dynamics in porous materials using variety of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques. Dynamics can include the adsorption of gas with specific environments (host-guest interactions) at specific pressures, the diffusion of gas in the pores, and the motion of the structure itself. Porous materials have a wide range of current and emerging applications in materials science and industry, although in many cases their development is held up because their atomic structures are not well understood. Solid-state NMR is one of the most powerful techniques for studying atomic structure in challenging materials, and state-of-the-art NMR facilities (400 MHz and 700 MHz widebore) have recently been installed at Lancaster University.
The project will involve some synthesis of framework materials and industrially-relevant samples will also be provided by Johnson Matthey. Characterisation will be carried out by applying a combination of advanced experimental and computational NMR techniques, and combining this with information from other analytical methods (such as X-ray diffraction). The overall aim is to develop new experimental methods that will let us ‘watch’ molecules moving around inside microporous materials and link this to their macroscopic properties.
This PhD is an excellent opportunity to gain both academic and industrial research experience. Training will be provided in a wide range of cutting-edge analytical and computational techniques, providing a strong grounding for a future career in materials science. Transferable skills in programming, data analysis and scientific communication will also be acquired. Lancaster University is ranked in the top ten in the Guardian League table and is consistently highly placed in all major league tables.
Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a 1st class at BSc level degree or a good 2:1 at Masters-level degree or equivalent in Chemistry.
Applications should be made via Lancaster University’s online application system http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/how-to-apply-for-postgraduate-study/
Informal email enquiries prior to making an application are encouraged (contact: [email protected]
). Applications will be considered in the order that they are received and the position may be filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.
The Chemistry Department particularly welcomes applications from women. We are committed to flexible working on an individual basis, welcome and embrace diversity, and are committed to the Athena SWAN principles.