Fully-Funded (or Fees-Only) EPSRC Studentship

University of Cambridge - Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

EPSRC Studentship in the fields of Structural Materials, and Materials Chemistry

Full or fees-only awards available to students who pay 'home rate' fees starting date: October 2017 closing date for initial applications: Wednesday 4 January 2017

Applications are invited for a fully-funded (or fees-only) EPSRC studentships, to be supervised by a newly-appointed member of staff in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy.

The Development of Hybrid Liquids and Glasses

Supervisor: Dr Tom Bennett (tdb35@cam.ac.ukhttp://www.fihm.msm.cam.ac.uk/directory/tdb35@cam.ac.uk

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a relatively new class of nanoporous compounds formed from inorganic nodes linked by organic ligands. Their extremely high surface areas mean they have significant potential for use in, for example, gas storage and separations, catalysis and radioactive waste recycling. Recently, we have demonstrated the melting of MOFs, in which inorganic-organic connectivity is retained in the liquid phase. Subsequent cooling leads to a new family of melt-quenched glasses, outside the (i) inorganic, (ii) metallic and (iii) organic categories known to date. 

The goal of this project is to examine the generality of glass formation and synthesize a chemically diverse array of glasses and composites from the 55,000 MOF structures known. The glasses, which have structures analogous to that of silica glass, will be investigated as innovative solutions to, for example, membrane-based separations and proton conduction. The candidate will synthesize an array of crystalline MOFs using established solvothermal or ball-milling methodologies, and use X-ray powder diffraction and differential scanning calorimetric techniques to characterize their glass-forming nature. Investigations of the liquid and glass phases will be performed using pair distribution function analysis, and fundamental rules governing the chemical design of hybrid glasses deduced. Applications are particularly encouraged from those with a degree in Chemistry or Materials Science, and prior experience of hybrid porous materials and/or glass science.

The minimum academic requirement for admission is an upper second class UK honours degree at the level of MSci, MEng, MPhys, MChem etc, or a lower second with a good Master's, (or overseas equivalents) in a relevant subject.

The studentship provides a maintenance grant at the minimum Research Council UK rate and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who fully satisfy the residence requirements of the UK Research Councils. A fees-only award will be available to EU nationals who are not ordinarily resident in the UK. Students who are liable for fees at the 'overseas' rate are not eligible for these studentships.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3.5 years in the first instance.

Prospective candidates should send a CV, with transcripts (if available) and a covering letter, to Dr Rosie Ward (remw2@cam.ac.uk).

Shortlisted candidates will subsequently be required to submit a formal application to the Graduate Admissions Office (http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/how-do-i-apply). A £50 application fee will apply at this stage

Please quote reference LJ10660 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University and the Department are committed to equality and diversity, the University holds an institutional Athena-SWAN silver award and the department is a bronze award holder.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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