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PhD Studentship - Processing of Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity (PIMs) for CWA Capture and Destruction

The University of Edinburgh

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Edinburgh
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 8th January 2019
Closes: 8th April 2019

Principal Supervisor: Maria-Chiara Ferrari

Assistant Supervisor: Neil McKeown

Funding: Tuition fees + stipend are available for Home/EU students (Due to finding, international students are not eligible)

Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity (PIMs) are microporous materials that are characterized by a very large volume of interconnected pores. Since their development in 2005, PIMs have attracted a lot of attention as gas separation membranes, sensors, or highly efficient adsorbents for organic vapors. For example PIM-1 is employed by 3M as a colorimetric sensor in their organic vapour respirator cartridges. A key feature of PIMs is their solution processability that allows to form the materials into thin film for membrane applications or nanofibers for adsorption applications.

PIMs large porosity and their affinity with organic vapours make them interesting candidates for the adsorption and destruction of dangerous molecules; the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh is looking at modifying the chemical structure of PIMs in order to improve the rapid adsorption and destruction of Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs).

Once a new material is synthesized, the powder needs to be processed into a suitable form in order to maximize the efficiency of the adsorption process, minimizing the amount of polymer needed while maintaining the structural integrity, the large surface area and the mechanical properties required by the application. Nanofibers are of particular interest since they can be used in sensor or be interwoven into protective gear to ensure large surface coverage in the layer and to avoid delamination of thin coated layers.

This project will look at the controlled formation of electrospun nanofibers from novel PIMs materials developed in collaboration with the School of Chemistry.


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