PhD Studentship Available: Hydrogen Interactions in Molecular Materials at High Pressure

University of Edinburgh

A fully-funded PhD studentship is available to work on a collaborative project between The University of Edinburgh (Professors Konstantin Kamenev and Simon Parsons) and The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Dr Helen Maynard-Casely and Professor Garry McIntyre) to work on single-crystal neutron diffraction at high pressure.

High pressure is one of the most useful tools available for manipulating the structure and properties of solid materials. In the organic solid state many systems undergo phase transitions as intermolecular interactions rearrange in response to compression. By-and-large intramolecular interactions are not affected. Metal complexes behave differently, with metal-ligand bonds being much more sensitive to relatively modest pressures. This latter feature makes high pressure a very attractive method for studying structure-property relationships and the fundamentals of metal-ligand bond formation. In this project we will explore the effect of high pressure on interactions involving hydrogen in organic and metal-organic crystals at pressures between 1 000 and 100 000 atm using single-crystal neutron diffraction.

The project is fully-funded, covering home/EU fees and a stipend at the EPSRC standard rate (£14,553 in academic year 2017-18). The studentship duration is three years, year 1 being spent in Edinburgh and years 2 and 3 at the ANSTO facility near Sydney.


Informal enquiries should be addressed to, with applications made through the EUCLID system as outlined at requirements. Applicants must have a 1st class or an upper 2nd class Honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Materials Science or related discipline and meet the EPSRC residency requirements, which restrict awards to UK and EU nationals.

Deadline for applications is 31 August 2017 but applications will be reviewed as they are received. Deferred entry for January 2018 can be discussed at the time of interview.

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