Postgraduate Scholarship in Design and Synthesis of Porous Materials for Sensor Applications

University of Kent - School of Physical Sciences

Supervisor: Dr William Gee

A funded PhD position is available in the field of materials science and sensor design.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous crystalline materials that are capable of hosting a wide variety of chemical species and transformations. This project will harness this capability by hosting small-molecule organic switches that are responsive towards a diverse range of volatile analytes. Analytes of interest will include: explosive residues, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The aim of the project is to develop new MOF materials, structurally characterise them, and evaluate their colour switching behaviour when loaded with organic molecular switches. These aims serve the overarching goal of creating new, economical sensors.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury and be supervised by Dr William Gee. The successful candidate will: (1) Synthesise several new MOF motifs to manipulate properties such as pore size or luminescence. (2) Activate and load MOFs with a range of switchable organic guests. (3) Evaluate their suitability and responsiveness towards a range of volatile analytes. (4) Use advanced characterization techniques, e.g. single-crystal X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and microspectroscopy, to analyse prototype sensor materials.

This PhD Studentship is due to start in September 2018.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) at the level of MSci, MEng, MChem etc., or a related subject. This is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,296; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,121 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.



Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr William Gee (

How to Apply: To apply please go to:

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

Deadline Date for Applications: 6 February 2018

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