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PhD Studentship: Flow-Diffraction-GCMS: Towards Kinetic Information from Single Crystals for Catalysis and Selective Adsorption Applications

University of Southampton - School of Chemistry

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009 stipend at current research council rates per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 6th June 2019
Closes: 31st August 2019
Reference: 1110719EB

Supervisory Team: Simon Coles & Graham Tizzard (Southampton); David Allan & Mark Warren (Diamond Light Source).

Project description

We are seeking a strong student with an understanding of chemistry to drive the development of single crystal diffraction methodology to produce and advance the understanding of solid-state reactivity.

This PhD provides an excellent, high-profile opportunity, working at national centres and with internationally recognized teams. The work will be highly collaborative, developing an in-operando approach by interfacing a single–crystal flow cell with a Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer and benchmarking with novel gas/solid catalysis. This will provide a step change in the ability to study catalytic reactions in the single crystal state and then be applied to understanding catalysis and gas separation/storage in extended (Metal-Organic Framework) materials.

Apparatus will be initially developed at the National Crystallography Service (Southampton, ) before being transferred to beamline I19 of the Diamond Light Source (the UK national synchrotron in Oxfordshire, ), where you will spend the remaining time on the studentship. The application to catalysis will involve very close collaboration with the internationally renowned synthesis/catalysis groups of Prof Andrew Weller (Oxford) and Prof Matthew Rosseinsky (Liverpool). Finally, the studentship will explore the transportability of the apparatus to other beamlines and look to engage the wider chemistry community, particularly through the Catalysis Hub at Harwell ( .

We therefore seek an independent and motivated researcher prepared to work at multiple sites to integrate and collaborate with different teams. You will have design and engineering skills, experience of implementing new methodologies and the ability to apply techniques to novel cutting-edge chemistry. An ability to present and communicate findings is a key aspect and we encourage applications from students with a background in any of the Engineering or Physical Sciences and an understanding of molecular and materials chemistry.

Some further details are available on the Diamond website at:

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof Simon Coles, Director of the National Crystallography Service, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 596722.

Key facts

Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2019 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

The project is funded for 3.5 years and welcomes applicants from the UK and EU who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in Chemistry or allied subjects/relevant disciplines. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates per annum. (Predicted 2019/20 rates are £15,009.)

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK students and EU students who meet the RCUK eligibility criteria.

For further guidance on funding, please contact

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