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PhD Studentship: Electron Momentum Spectroscopy and Dissociative Electron Attachment Studies of Complex Interstellar Molecules

The Open University - Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Milton Keynes
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £18,622 per year. Stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 7th December 2023
Closes: 26th January 2024
Reference: Studentship/LHCS/SPS
 

Project summary

Three years and 3 months from October 2024

The discovery of diverse complex molecules in the interstellar medium in recent years, notably polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitrogen-containing aromatic species, has inspired numerous laboratory studies aimed at understanding their possible roles in extra-terrestrial radiation chemistry. Experiments on complex molecules are generally limited by (i) the difficulty of bringing complex neutrals into the gas phase without thermal decomposition, and (ii) the tendency for gas-phase targets of complex molecules to contain a combination of different isomers and tautomers. This programme of DEA and electron momentum spectroscopy (EMS) experiments will address both of these challenges.

By extending the current experimental limits of both DEA and EMS, the project provides an exceptional opportunity to gain new data on the radiation response of complex molecules in space and thereby obtain insights into the molecular origins of life.

Further information

This three-year research studentship is funded by the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at The Open University and provides a stipend of £18,622 per year (2023/24 rate, indexed annually) and all academic fees are covered.

The project is supervised by Drs Kate Nixon and Sam Eden. The student would be required to live in the UK and within commuting distance of The Open University in Milton Keynes.

Applicants will be expected to have a good undergraduate degree (upper second class or higher) or Masters degree (or equivalent experience) in chemistry of physics.

This project will be well-suited to candidates who:

  • Are interested in learning more about electron driven processes in molecules.
  • Have strong practical skills and enthusiasm for experimental work.
  • Have a solid undergraduate-level knowledge of physical chemistry or atomic and molecular physics

Informal enquiries relating to the project should be directed to Dr Kate Nixon (email: kate.nixon@open.ac.uk) or Dr Sam Eden (sam.eden@open.ac.uk).

How to Apply

Please check this page for application entry requirements: https://www.open.ac.uk/postgraduate/research-degrees/degrees-we-offer/doctor-of-philosophy-phd

Please send an email with your CV, a completed application form and a personal statement (max. 2 pages outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date) to STEM-LHCS-PHD@open.ac.uk

You can find more information in the following link: http://www.open.ac.uk/science/life-health-chemical-sciences/phd-studentships-vacancies

Closing date:  January 26th 2024 at 17:00 pm

Interview date: Online Interviews will be arranged for week commencing Feb 19th 2024.

LHCS holds Athena Swan Bronze Status. We promote diversity in employment and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

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