|Funding for:||UK Students|
|Funding amount:||Home tuition fees and stipend at standard UKRI rates|
|Placed On:||24th January 2023|
|Closes:||10th February 2023|
Project Title: Confinement of Lanthanide Molecular Nanomagnets in Carbon Nanotubes
Brief Description of the Project:
In 2025, the data storage industry is expected to be worth over $118 billion. There is a pressing need for innovative ways of storing more data whilst reducing the physical size of the storage medium. The discovery of magnetic memory effects in magnetic molecules called ‘single-molecule magnets’ (SMMs) signposts routes to data storage devices with capacities surpassing those of classical technologies, using an approach that takes advantage of the quantum properties of molecules.
SMMs can be defined by the temperature at which they show magnetic hysteresis. The state-of-the-art is a family of dysprosium metallocene SMMs developed by the Layfield group, which include systems that show hysteresis above liquid nitrogen temperatures. The organometallic synthesis approach to SMMs provides a unique way of addressing magnetism at the level of single molecules. Incorporating these SMMs into nano-structured environments would be an important step towards functional magnetic materials. However, obstacles to achieving this are: (1) organometallic SMMs are air-sensitive, and (2) they are unstable on surfaces.
We propose to synthesize and encapsulate organometallic SMMs within single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). The resulting SMM@SWCNT composites provide a bridge between the microscopic dimensions of the SMM and the bulk structure of the nanotubes, connecting the SMMs to the outside world and allowing them to be addressed individually by electric currents passed along the nanotube. Encapsulation of organometallic SMMs in the nanotube also provides a barrier to the atmosphere, enhancing their stability and preventing degradation by air.
The methodology for encapsulation will involve initial synthesis of new SMMs; key compounds for addressing this challenge are a new type of lanthanide-dinitrogen complex, the reactivity of which will also be investigated during the project. SWCNTs with varying diameters will then be prepared to determine to optimum cavity size for SMM incorporation, and then the SMMs will be absorbed into the SWCNTs through soaking experiments. We will characterize SMMs and the SMM@SWCNTs using crystallography, Raman spectroscopy and magnetometry. Under inert atmospheres, we will compare the properties of the bulk SMM and that of the composites, aiming to establish the impact of nanoconfinement on the magnetism. In parallel, we will expose SMM@SWCNT materials to air and compare their properties to those of the same materials under an inert atmosphere. Advanced characterization of the composites will then be accomplished using microscopy (AFM, SEM, TEM). Overall, the complementary chemistry-physics approach will give the student a thorough grounding in a variety of synthetic and analytical techniques.
How to apply:
Please submit a formal application using the online admissions portal attaching a CV, degree transcripts and certificates, personal statement and two academic references.
On the application system select Programme of Study – PhD Chemistry. Please state the project title under funding and the supervisor’s name where required.
Ideal candidates will have a strong background in synthetic chemistry.
Eligible applicants will hold, or be expected graduate in 2023 with, at least a 2:1 MChem or MSci degree in chemistry.
Candidates for whom English is not their first language will require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in any section.
For enquiries about the application process, contact Emma Chorley: firstname.lastname@example.org
For enquiries about the project, please contact supervisor: email@example.com
Type / Role: