PhD Studentship Photochemical Production of Bleaching Reagents

Name of the supervisor: Professor Anthony Harriman, School of Chemistry

Sponsor: Procter & Gamble

Duration of the award: Three year PhD

Project description
Photochemistry provides for the production of powerful reagents by way of selective illumination of benign precursors. Perhaps the best-known example is the activation of molecular oxygen to the highly reactive and destructive species known as singlet molecular oxygen. Excited states in general, including singlet molecular oxygen, are short lived and subject to a multitude of physical and chemical deactivation processes. As such, chemical reactions (e.g., the oxygenation of an alkene by singlet molecular oxygen) occur only when the reagents are held in close proximity. This tends to limit the applications for the ensuing photochemistry unless rather elaborate conditions are imposed.

The project under consideration here sets out to eliminate some of these conditions and thereby generate a universal reagent that can enter into oxidative chemical reactions. Because the vast majority of stable species are built around paired electrons, in marked contrast to excited states, it is necessary for multi-electron transfer reactions to follow from light absorption. Herein lies the novelty and ingenuity of the project.

The primary objective of the project is to use modern chemical protocols to understand the mechanism(s) of dual-electron transfer reactions in water. This will be done by measurement of rates, yields and limiting conditions for a typical reaction and comparing these derived parameters with thermodynamic factors. Computer modelling will be used to identify likely transition states.

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Value of the award and eligibility
A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,726 (2013-14). This studentship is only open to Home and EU students.

Person specification
Applicants should have a MChem degree (minimum upper-second-class honours).

How to apply
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form selecting ‘PhD School of Chemistry – Chemistry’ as the programme of study. Please insert the studentship/partnership reference number CY002. Only mandatory fields need to be completed and please attach a CV and covering letter quoting the title of the studentship and reference number CY002.

Please also send your CV and covering letter to Professor A Harriman (

Further information
For further details, please contact: 
Professor A Harriman
Telephone: 0191 222 8660

For more information and to submit an application, please use the ‘Apply’ button below.

Closing Date: 31st January 2014

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