News

New MDABCO perovskites paper

Sam and Harry’s paper on MDABCO-based ABX3 perovskites is now out in CrystEngComm!

These materials are very promising candidates for ferroelectric applications, owing to their ease of synthesis, flexibility and properties that rival existing materials, such as BaTiO3. Sam and Harry discovered the single crystal structures of three new compositions, which help to define the design limits within which the ferroelectric pseudo-cubic perovskite phases form.

Congratulations Sam and Harry and thanks to all contributing authors!

Read the paper, which features in the 2022 New Talent Special Issue (Open Access) here.

Update: new cover art available too!

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!

Farewell Joe!

We bid a fond farewell to Joe Barker, who leaves UoB for an exciting Postdoc Research position in the group of Prof Fiona Meldrum at the University of Leeds.

Joe joined the group this year as he was finishing off his PhD research, to help with our MSci projects jointly supervised by Prof Paul Anderson. It was great having you at our group meetings and learning from all your insights into carboxyphosphonate MOFs.

We’ll miss you but we’re looking forward to watching all the developments in your career and research in future!