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PhD UK/EU Studentship: Exploring Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) Materials for Gas Adsorption and Separation Applications

This is a 3-year PhD project studentship to start October 2017. We regret that we are unable to consider non-UK/non-EU citizens for this project. To determine if you are eligible, please visit:

In addition, students would need to be eligible for 'Home Fees' according to the criteria at: Full details can be found here:

We are currently recruiting an outstanding PhD candidate for investigating porous materials such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), porous organic polymers (POPs), Covalent Organic Frameworks (COFs) etc. capability for different gas storage and separation applications, under the supervision of Dr David Fairen-Jimenez and Dr Peyman Z. Moghadam. The project is a collaborative research between the Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology (CEB), University of Cambridge, and the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC).

The Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) ¿ run by the CCDC ¿ contains over 850,000 small molecule crystal structures, including tens of thousands of MOFs and their organic counterparts. The CSD is therefore a vital resource in identifying existing structures with promising characteristics for many applications. However, the large diversity in the composition of extended materials makes finding and extracting outstanding structures for potential gas storage and separation applications a challenging prospect.

The aim of this PhD project is to develop maintainable subsets of different classes of porous materials deposited in the CSD and utilize an array of computational tools to characterize their textural properties (e.g. surface area, void fraction, density etc.). The PhD candidate will then employ large scale high-throughput molecular-level calculations to probe the created subsets for different opportunities including gas storage, separation, capture of toxic chemicals as well as drug adsorption. Using such in-silico screenings of adsorbent materials, you will underpin the complex structure-property relationships for targeted applications and experimentally synthesize and test promising materials that emerge from the simulations.

Applicants should have (or expect to be awarded) a first class UK honours degree at the level of MSci, MEng (or overseas equivalents - please visit: to determine if your final grade/mark equates to a UK First) in a relevant science subject (e.g. Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, etc.) and should meet the criteria for UK/EU residency.

Sponsor: Financial support for this project is provided by the European Research Council (ERC) and the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC). The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

Informal enquiries may be made by email to Dr David Fairen-Jimenez ( or Dr Peyman Z. Moghadam (

The successful candidate will be expected to formally apply for admission as a PhD student and meet any conditions of admission set by the University. More information can be found at:

To apply for this position, please send the following to by 17:00 on Monday 17th April 2017:

1) Include the vacancy reference number, NQ11716 in the subject line of your email 2) A detailed curriculum vitae 3) Transcripts and/or degree certificates that include numerical details of grades obtained in relevant examinations/courses.

Please quote reference NQ11716 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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