STFC Global Challenge PhD Studentship Development and Characterisation of low-cost, highly-stable metal organic frameworks for CO2, SO2 and NO2 CAPTURE and separation

Applications are invited for the above 4-year PhD studentship that is offered through a collaboration between the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham and the ISIS Facility at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

Working alongside Professor Martin Schröder, Dr Sihai Yang (University of Nottingham) and Professor Bill David (RAL), the researcher will receive a diverse training at both Nottingham and RAL in techniques associated with materials synthesis and characterisation as well as performing cutting-edge neutron and X-ray scattering studies at ISIS and Diamond. The researcher will be based in Nottingham in Year 1 and at ISIS in Years 2-4. Throughout the studentship, the researcher will be regularly involved with research in Nottingham.

The research project is based on our long-standing research interest into the design, synthesis and development of metal organic frameworks (MOF) that have huge potential to deliver significant breakthroughs in carbon capture technologies. We have recently discovered a new class of MOFs, denoted NOTT-300, that are low-cost, easy to scale-up and are stable and have strong potential for future industrial use. We have been able to study the mechanisms of gas adsorption in this material and have performed initial characterisation of gas-loaded NOTT-300 using advanced diffraction techniques to reveal the positions of CO2 and SO2 within the pores (see Nature Chemistry, 2012, 4, 887-894). This project will continue to develop and characterise the NOTT-300 series of materials for CO2, SO2 and NO2 gas storage and separation. The project is both fundamental and applied and seeks to use STFC facilities to understand the detailed atomistic mechanisms for gas uptake and selectivity, while also studying the bulk behaviour of gas capture reactors using X-ray and neutron tomography and imaging. Year 1 will be based at the University of Nottingham where the synthesis and scale up of MOF materials will be undertaken. Years 2-4 will be based between the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and University of Nottingham in terms of research, and there will be training in both neutron and X-ray techniques along with DFT modelling courses. The use of modelling to interpret and characterise the structure and thermodynamics of adsorption processes and the combination with neutron and X-ray experiments is at the forefront of science. The student will receive extensive generic training and support from the University Graduate School, while the School of Chemistry will deliver courses and training on specialist chemical areas.

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Applicants must hold or be on course to achieve at least an upper second-class degree (or the equivalent) in Chemistry, Physics or Materials Science and possess strong analytical skills, a robust scientific approach and be an effective communicator.

This 4-year studentship is fully funded at the standard EPSRC rates, and available from October 1st 2013. Funding for this position is restricted to UK and EU citizens only.

The School values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

To apply please send a detailed CV and a cover letter, together with the names and addresses of two referees to Professor Martin Schröder (email: M.Schrö[email protected]), via the ‘Apply’ button below.

Informal enquiries regarding further details of the project can be made to Professor Martin Schröder or Professor Bill David ([email protected]). Please quote ref. SCI/1286.

Closing date: 30 June 2013.

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