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Imaging the Dynamics of Molecular Collisions

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Matthew Costen
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Small molecular radicals, e.g. NO, OH and CH, and small stable molecules such as CO, are significant in the chemistry of a range of important environments, e.g. combustion; the Earth’s atmosphere; technological plasmas; and astrochemical systems such as planetary atmospheres and interstellar clouds. In collisions with other molecules, they may transfer rotational, vibrational or electronic energy, and/or undergo reaction. Detailed understanding of these processes and the forces acting during collisions is vital to modelling of these environments. You will apply state-of-the-art crossed-molecular-beam scattering, coupled with high-resolution laser spectroscopy and velocity-map ion-imaging, to study the dynamics of the collisions of these radicals with representative atoms and molecules. Comparison to high-level electronic structure and scattering theory will be used to interpret the results, providing information for modellers, experimental tests of theory, and deeper understanding of these fundamental processes.

You will receive an excellent training in modern aspects of experimental science, including: laser spectroscopy; high vacuum technology; electronic data capture; computer modelling. You will be part of a vibrant chemical dynamics research group of academics, post-docs, and PhD students. See our group website at www.dynamics.eps.hw.ac.uk

The Institute of Chemical Sciences (ICS) is an excellent environment for PhD research, with a thriving community of academics, post-doctoral and PhD researchers spread across three sections: Molecular Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, and Dynamics and Structure. ICS also has many links to the other research institutes within the overall umbrella of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, providing a strong interdisciplinary theme to our research. Heriot-Watt University occupies an attractive campus site on the outskirts of Edinburgh, with excellent public transport links to the centre of one of the Europe’s most exciting cities.

Funding Notes

You should have, or expect to receive, a First or 2:1 Class MChem degree in Chemistry, or equivalent in a relevant related subject. This project is funded by an EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), providing tuition fees and a stipend (approx. £14,500) for 3.5 years, and is only available to UK & EU nationals resident in the UK for the last 3 years.

Related Subjects

How good is research at Heriot-Watt University in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 30.00

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