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PhD Studentship: Polymeric Frustrated Lewis Pairs

The University of Manchester

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009 stipend per year and covers tuition fees
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 20th September 2019
Closes: 6th December 2019


Prof Michael Shaver

Project Description

Functional materials that respond to external stimuli are of growing importance to fields as varied as computing, electronics, health and well-being and sustainability. These functional materials are rarely used to tackle two key challenges that underpin our chemical economy: carbon capture and storage (CCS) and catalysis. This PhD project will exploit our group’s expertise in synthetic main group chemistry to develop polymeric materials that offer a paradigm shift for both fields, using the concept of frustrated Lewis pairs to promote activation and capture of waste industrial gases like carbon dioxide, whilst also providing a platform to transform this waste gas into a value-added product. The aforementioned frustrated Lewis pairs exploit the concept of latent reactivity where a Lewis acid and Lewis are decorated with large bulky groups that prevents them from coming into close contact. This induces a frustration which can activate small molecules or promote unique, metal-free catalysis. This project suits someone with a passion for synthetic chemistry – either in main group or polymer science – who wants to join a dynamic, diverse, international, industrial and enthusiastic team. The School is committed to Athena SWAN principles to promote women in science. The University of Manchester values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

The start date for this PhD is either 1st May 2020 or 1st September 2020, the duration is 3 years or 3.5 years depending upon start date.

Degree Requirements:

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in chemistry, materials or a cognate discipline. Interest or experience in one or more of synthetic main group chemistry, small molecule catalysis or synthetic polymer chemistry is desirable

Funding: Funding provided by Leverhulme Grant RPG-2019-019. The funding covers tuition fees and a stipend of £15,009 per year. EU nationals must have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the programme to be eligible for a full award (fees and stipend).

Applications – please apply at

Informal enquiries should be sent to Prof Michael Shaver:

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