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PhD UK/EU Studentship: Optimising the Surface Chemistry of Catalytic Materials


Due to funding regulations, this studentship is only available to UK and EU nationals. Students must meet the eligibility criteria at: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/studentregistry/fees/funding/councils/eligibility.html

(4-year fully-funded EPSRC industrial CASE studentship with Professor Lynn Gladden and Dr. Mick Mantle; industrial partner BP plc. Project to start 1 October 2017.)

Heterogeneous catalysis lies at the heart of many catalytic processes, which contribute to an industrial sector worth £50 billion p.a. to the UK economy. During a heterogeneous catalytic processes, one or more of the reactant species must interact with the surface of the catalyst where reaction to products then occurs. The aim of this project is to learn how to modify the surface chemistry of, typically, oxide-based materials to optimise their adsorption properties for specific catalytic conversions. The project will introduce the student to a range of well-established catalyst characterisation techniques. However, the main focus of the project will be to extend our use of NMR nuclear spin relaxation time techniques to characterise molecule-surface interactions and, in particular, to study multi-component adsorption in both the gas and liquid phases. These experiments will be combined with NMR measurements of molecular diffusion, Thus we aim to measure how modifications to surface chemistry change the adsorption and molecular mobility within a catalyst. These methods are of particular interest because they can be performed under reaction conditions making the results of immediate relevance to real catalytic materials, including porous silicas and zeolites.

Applicants for the studentship should have a First Class (or a high 2:1) degree in a relevant discipline such as chemical engineering, engineering, chemistry or physics.

To apply for the studentship:

  1. Include the Vacancy Reference number LFGPHD003A in the subject line of your email.

  2. Send your CV, to include grades/marks received in relevant examinations, to recruitment@ceb.cam.ac.uk by 17:00 on 19 May 2017.

Please quote reference LFGPHD003A on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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