PhD studentship available Oct 2022

We are excited to offer a PhD studentship to start in October 2022, on a project joint with scientists at Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron facility. Please note that funding for fees is available for home (UK) students only and this re-advertised position will close as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

Recently, MOFs with hierarchical structure–on multiple length scales–have been created that give rise to unprecedented properties and emergent phenomena, such as structural colour. This project will develop the necessary protocols and expertise to perform and analyse tandem in-situ X-ray scattering experiments across beamlines I22 and I15-1 at Diamond, to probe the key length scales and timescales involved in hierarchical MOF formation. 

The student will spend time at Birmingham and Diamond, co-supervised by leading experts in small-angle scattering and total scattering measurements, Dr Andy Smith and Dr Phil Chater, respectively. They will have an allowance up to £3000 per year for conferences, training and travel, and will receive additional training in transferable skills such as Python, scientific writing and presentations.

For more details and to apply see FindAPhD.

Farewell Matt and Sam

Today after a gourmet calzone group lunch at the Plough, Harborne, we bid farewell to our MSci project students this year, Matt Liddle and Sam Gale.

Matt investigated the phase behaviour of the BIRM-1 family of carboxyphosphonate MOFs, mapping out which phases formed under different synthetic conditions. He discovered at least one new material and showed that, like BIRM-1, it underwent structural collapse and then recrystallisation upon drying and resolvation. Matt goes on to PhD research in the group of Prof Ross Forgan at the University of Glasgow.

Sam investigated structural and compositional variations in the MDABCO-based halide perovskites. He found several new structures––some wonderfully unintended!––that pushed the limits of phase behaviour, broke the rules (that we wrote!) and showed that paraelectric–ferroelectric phase transitions are highly dependent on sample history. We’re currently writing up his work so watch this space for a paper in the near future… Sam is taking a year out and will be looking for PhD opportunities for 2023.

Farewell and good luck for your final exams, Matt and Sam!

New MSci project students!

This month we are joined by Matthew Liddle and Samuel Gale, who will be carrying out their Masters research projects with the group. Matt’s project is looking at phase behaviour of a carboxyphosphonate MOF, BIRM-1, which has potential use in ion exchange and transport. Sam’s project is investigating relationships between the physical properties of hybrid perovskite ferroelectrics and their structural chemistry.

Both Sam and Matt also have a second co-supervisor, Prof Paul Anderson, as well as his PhD student Joe Barker, who joins us as an honorary group member involved in day-to-day supervision of the projects.

Welcome, Sam, Matt and Joe!