The chemistry of the main group elements has seen some remarkable advances in the past years. A range of highly unusually bonded main group compounds from the s- and p-block of the periodic table have been prepared recently that led to some surprising reactivity being discovered. This includes some unusual activation reactions of relatively inert molecules including industrially relevant small molecules. Your project will systematically study well-defined molecular main group compounds largely stabilized by sterically demanding ligands and explore the properties and novel reactivity of such systems. The PhD research will involve the synthesis and characterization of molecular main group compounds, the design and synthesis of suitable sterically demanding ligand systems, exploratory reactivity studies of new main group compounds, and their application in synthesis and catalysis. During your project, you will use Schlenk line and glove box techniques for compound handling and various techniques such as multinuclear NMR spectroscopy for compound characterization. The School of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews provides an excellent research infrastructure and operates a wide range of state-of-the-art characterization equipment.
Applicants must have completed, or are soon to complete, a relevant chemistry degree (e.g. Master degree) at a high level (e.g. 2.1 minimum or equivalent). Good communication skills, the ability to work safely, independently and in a team environment, as well as a strong interest in synthetic molecular inorganic/organometallic chemistry are essential. Previous experience in the handling and characterization of air and moisture sensitive compounds is desirable but not essential.