PhD Studentship - Phosphametacyclophanes: From Versatile Ligands to Tuneable Molecular Electronics

University of Sussex - Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry

A Ph.D. studentship (42 months) is available from September 2017 in the group of Dr Ian Crossley, Department of Chemistry, School of Life Sciences.

The project will build on our recent work with the novel diphosphametacyclophane motif (Chem. Commun., 2012, 48, 5766-5768) and related systems (Eur.J. Inorg. Chem. 2016, 4076-4082), seeking to further develop and functionalise this intriguing macrocyclic skeleton to address its targeted application. This will consider both the ligation properties of the phosphacyclcophane, and its utility as a building-block for electro- and/or photo-active organic materials. Targets will include the introduction of further intra and exocyclic donors, investigations of ligation behaviour, elaboration of the p-scaffold and evaluation / modification of intrinsic electronic properties. The specific strategy and foci will be mutually agreed with the successful candidate.

The project will involve substantial anaerobic ligand synthesis and coordination chemistry, with the extensive ‘hands-on’ use of advanced multinuclear NMR spectroscopic methods as a primary means of compound identification and characterisation, and for reaction monitoring. This will be augmented by “in-house” computational (DFT) methods and potentially (if and where appropriate) some electrochemical, photometric and/or spectro-electrochemical studies. The successful candidate will therefore receive a thorough and rounded training in the methods of modern inorganic ligand design, synthesis and characterisation.

This School funded position, which covers fees and a stipend at standard RCUK rates, is open to Home / EU applicants who should hold or expect to obtain a first, or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry. An interest in synthetic inorganic chemistry and ligand design/development is essential. Candidates for whom English is not their first language will require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in any section.

Informal enquiries (including a CV) should be directed to Dr Ian Crossley ( An overview of research within the Crossley lab and the department can be found at and respectively.

Please submit a formal application using our online application system at, including a CV, statement of interest and names of two academic referees.

On the application system use Programme of Study – Ph.D. CHEMISTRY.

Please make sure you include the project title and Supervisor's name with your statement of interest on the application form.

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