Chemistry (PhD)

2021-22

This course is eligible for Doctoral loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

1 October 2021

17 January 2022

25 April 2022

Duration

The maximum duration for a full-time PhD is 3 years (36 months) or part-time is 6 years (72 months) with an optional submission pending (writing up period) of 12 months.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.

If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of 10 working days per year in the university, excluding participation in activities associated with enrolment, re-registration and progression monitoring. You are also expected to dedicate 17.5 hours per week to the research.

Application deadlines

For PGR start date September 2021

02 July 2021

About the research degree

A PhD is the highest academic award for which a student can be registered.This programme allows you to explore and pursue a research project built around a substantial piece of work, which has to show evidence of original contribution to knowledge.

A full-time PhD is a three year full-time programme of research and culminates in the production of a large-scale piece of written work in the form of a research thesis that should not normally exceed 80,000 words.

Completing a PhD can give you a great sense of personal achievement and help you develop a high level of transferable skills which will be useful in your subsequent career, as well as contributing to the development of knowledge in your chosen field.

You are expected to work to an approved programme of work including appropriate programmes of postgraduate study (which may be drawn from parts of existing postgraduate courses, final year degree programmes, conferences, seminars, masterclasses, guided reading or a combination of study methods).

You will be appointed a main supervisor who will normally be part of a supervisory team, comprising up to three members to advise and support you on your project.

Entry requirements

The normal level of attainment required for entry is:

  • a Master's degree from a UK University or equivalent, in a discipline appropriate to the proposed programme to be followed, or
  • an upper second class honours degree (2:1) from a UK university in a discipline appropriate to that of the proposed programme to be followed, or
  • appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with the written element at least 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Why choose Huddersfield?


There are many reasons to choose the University of Huddersfield and here are just five of them:

  1. We were named University of the Year by Times Higher Education in 2013.
  2. Huddersfield is the only University where 100% of permanent teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Authority.
  3. Our courses have been accredited by 41 professional bodies.
  4. 94.6% of our postgraduate students go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.
  5. We have world-leading applied research groups in Biomedical Sciences, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities.

What can I research?

There are several research topics available for this degree. See below examples of research areas including an outline of the topics, the supervisor, funding information and eligibility criteria:

Outline

Small organic molecules are important in drug discovery and in novel materials research. The development of sustainable syntheses to these compounds using small organic molecules as catalysts is an important area of research. The aim of this project is to develop new iodoarene catalysts, especially chiral variants, and investigate their utility in the formation of small organic molecules.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £6,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The project will develop synthetic routes to novel bridged bicyclic amines, non-racemic three-dimensional drug-like scaffolds, using flexible and scalable catalysis. It will extend chemistry we have previously reported in Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 4836 and Chem. Commun. 2013, 49, 8931.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £6.000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is an incredibly powerful and versatile analytical technique. Providing structural and dynamic information at the atomic level NMR is ubiquitous within the physical sciences but development of new applications, or even routine exploitation in the case of volume limited samples, is hindered by low intrinsic sensitivity. NMR sensitivity can be boosted by transferring ‘spin polarization’ from unpaired electrons. Whilst such transfer has conventionally been achieved using microwave pumping of electronic transitions in so-called dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) experiments, there are major technical challenges to this approach. Recently we have demonstrated a method using optical excitation instead of microwave irradiation. This not only overcomes a number of technical challenges, but also potentially offers much higher sensitivity gains above the maximum possible in microwave DNP. This PhD project will build upon the recent proof of principle demonstration of optically pumped DNP, investigating multiple factors such as illumination time, illumination wavelength, magnetic field strength and choice of polarizing agent. The theory underpinning the technique will also be tested and new numerical models devised. This will allow development of the methodology from proof of principle to real-world application.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £6,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

This project involves the combination of thermal analysis and ambient ionisation mass spectrometry (specifically, DART-MS). A new integrated system has been developed that allows for investigation of the behaviour of complex materials as a function of temperature. The successful candidate will further develop and refine the system and investigate its wide-ranging applications.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Complexes of metals such as Ru(II), Ir(III), Re(I) etc have attracted enormous interest in the literature due to their intriguing and attractive photophysical properties. Our group has paid particular attention to the study of complexes bearing 1,2,3-triazole based ligands and have reported encouraging results on their use as cellular imaging probes and singlet oxygen sensitisation. These complexes therefore have potential applicability as dual-mode theranostic agents. The project will therefore involve the synthesis and characterisation of new luminescent complexes and their optimisation for cellular imaging and photodynamic therapy.

See the following publications from our group at https://www.hud.ac.uk/ourstaff/profile/index.php?staffid=222

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £5,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The nature of fabric manufacture can cause fabric producers to enforce long lead times and large minimum orders on their customers, making it difficult to produce bespoke fabrics in limited quantities. The research programme will be directed at materials development in one or more of the following areas: polymer development, textile functionalisation, and stratified fabric production. In addition to process development and characterisation, this project will design new or adapt existing fabric manufacturing processes and establish underpinning structure-property relationships.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

In this project novel polysaccharides will be identified, purified, fully characterised. One major concern is that a large amount of work has previously been carried out on crude material and not on highly purified or well characterised polysaccharide components which makes conclusions on functionality difficult.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £6,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

In comparison to traditional composite materials, nanocomposites exhibit enhanced properties through the incorporation of nanofillers. Polymer-based nanocomposites combine the benefits of polymers, such as low cost and ease of processing, with the unique features of the nanomaterials, such as high surface to volume ratio, high aspect ratio, excellent toughness and strength and improved electrical and thermal conductivities. In the last few years, polymer nanocomposites with enhanced optical, mechanical, electrical and thermal properties have been developed. A key challenge for nanocomposites is to prevent agglomeration of the nanofillers, in order to optimise property enhancement. Potential applications of nanocomposites include aerospace, automotive, marine, sports materials, construction, structures, electrical and electronic systems, biomedical devices, thermal management systems, adhesives, paints and coatings, industrial tooling and other general consumer products. In parallel with these developments, the discovery of graphene has been heralded as a game-changer for many areas of science and engineering, including materials science. The power of graphene is that it combines a range of exceptional properties in one material. A key challenge for promoting practical applications of graphene is to translate these properties into macro-structured materials. Putting these two concepts together, graphene-polymer nanocomposites utilise graphene as the nanofiller such that they combine the benefits of nanocomposites with the unique properties of graphene. Further to this, the synergistic effect of incorporating two or more nanofillers to form ‘hybridised nanocomposites’ has also been proposed for additional enhancement of properties. For example, the remarkable synergetic effect between graphene platelets and multiwalled carbon nanotubes has been observed to greatly improve the mechanical properties and thermal conductivity of nanocomposites. However, graphene-polymer and hybridised nanocomposites are at an early stage of development and their properties and behaviour are not fully understood. As such, there is great scope for further work and exploitation of these materials. This project will examine the processing of a range of graphene-polymer nanocomposites, test mechanical properties, assess thermal stability and examine breakage characteristics, in order to understand and optimise the behaviour of these materials.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £5,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Autoxidation is one of the main mechanisms of oxidative degradation of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). It can result in a reduced shelf life for a pharmaceutical product, the need for low temperature storage and shipments or the inclusion of antioxidants in a formulation. When a new API enters development understanding the risk of autoxidation is therefore crucial. The autoxidation mechanism is well-known; an initially formed radical combines with oxygen from air to form a peroxyl radical. The peroxyl radical can then abstract any weakly bound hydrogen atom, to generate a new radical that can propagate the chain reaction. In principle, the chain reaction can be fast as long as the breaking CH bond is weaker than the OH bond that is formed in the hydrogen transfer. The CH bond dissociation energy can be accurately calculated for a hydrogen atom in any molecule and if autoxidation occurs these values are very good at predicting the site at which it will occur. However, the absolute value is not the sole predictor of whether autoxidation occurs at all. The ability of the chain mechanism to propagate seems key, with the subsequent formation of both carbon based and oxygen based radicals. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is a powerful tool for studying free radical formation and as such can be used to investigate autoxidative degradation mechanisms in APIs. Building on previous work in which EPR was validated as a tool for non-destructive investigation of the extent of API oxidation in this PhD project EPR will be used to investigate the factors allowing autoxidation reactions to propagate, and ways in which autoxidation can be prevented.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £6,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Complexes of metals such as Ru(II), Ir(III), Re(I) etc have attracted enormous interest in the literature due to their intriguing and attractive photophysical properties. Our group has paid particular attention to the study of complexes bearing 1,2,3-triazole based ligands and have shown in these systems highly novel photochemical reactivity. This project will involve the synthesis and characterisation of new triazole-based complexes and their detailed spectroscopic and theoretical investigation in order to elucidate the mechanism of their photochemical reactivity.

See the following publications from our group at https://www.hud.ac.uk/ourstaff/profile/index.php?staffid=222

Funding

There is currently no funding for this project and we encourage interested self-funding students to apply. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £5,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Most geochemical processes occur at the mineral-fluid interfaces. Characterization of these interfaces and their interaction with contaminants (including radionuclides and heavy metals) and pollutants is therefore crucial to the understanding and the control of any interface process whether involved in geochemical processes or in any industrial and technological approaches that see mineral phases at the heart of their applications. This PhD will address the modelling challenges in the field, covering approaches that are capable of gaining insights into the structure and the processes, including but not limited to adsorption, transport and reactivity, at the interfaces of minerals with the surrounding environment. Applications to contaminants and pollutants remediation, construction, mineral formation and uptake in biological media, human healthcare and of course geochemistry could all be considered. The PhD student will undertake novel research using multiscale computational approaches to contaminants and pollutants at mineral/material interfaces with focus on the role of structure, adsorption and reactivity. The details of the project will be discussed with the candidate and the project will be tailored based on the candidate’s research interest. All research outputs: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=jAUrSBQAAAAJ&hl=en Examples of research outputs for this PhD are listed below: Sorptive Characteristics of Organomontmorillonite toward Organic Compounds: A Combined LFERs and Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/es200211r Toward Modeling Clay Mineral Nanoparticles: The Edge Surfaces of Pyrophyllite and Their Interaction with Water. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jp5070853 Modelling the effects of surfactant loading level on the sorption of organic contaminants on organoclays. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2015/RA/c5ra05998d Adsorption of phosphate and cadmium on iron (oxyhydr)oxides: A comparative study on ferrihydrite, goethite, and hematite. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016706120325544

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Biomedical materials engineering develops biomaterials that are manufactured to be suitable for use as medical devices. Nanomaterials of oxides, metals, carbon-based materials (i.e. graphene, nanotubes, etc.), and polymers make up the vast majority of biomaterials. For practical uses (sensors, biosensors, nanozymes etc.) nanomaterials are usually chemically modified at the surface forming composite materials. Unlike, the bulk properties of these materials which are generally well known, the properties arising at the nanoscale from surfaces and interfaces in contact to the biological environment are peculiar to the system. The chemistry of surfaces and interfaces and their characterization are therefore key to a quantitative understanding of the materials properties. Controlling such properties is imperative to allow for the prediction of the materials behaviour when immerse in the biological environment. This will not only affect biomedical processes at the materials interfaces but also any industrial and technological applications that see such systems at the heart of their approaches. The PhD student will undertake novel research using multiscale computational approaches capable of gaining nanoscale and microscale insights into the chemistry, structure and processes at the surfaces and interfaces of biomedically relevant materials. The details of the project will be discussed with the candidate and the project will be tailored based on the candidate’s research interest. All research outputs: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=jAUrSBQAAAAJ&hl=en Examples of research outputs for this PhD are listed below: Computer-Aided Design of Nanoceria Structures as Enzyme Mimetic Agents: The Role of Bodily Electrolytes on Maximising Their Activity. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsabm.8b00709 Strongly Bound Surface Water Affects the Shape Evolution of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b09046 Thermodynamic Evolution of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticle Morphology Using Carbon Dioxide https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c07437

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Textile wet processing is currently an important aspect of textile production as it adds value to the textiles by improving aesthetics, comfort and functional properties. However, wet processing consumes substantial volumes of water and chemicals, which frequently have associated health and/or environmental hazards, and subsequently produce high quantities of effluent requiring expensive dilution and/or treatment. This research will investigate alternative dry finishing processes that can offer lower costs, reduced environmental impact, and the potential to produce new products with improved performance. This research will incorporate materials development in one or more of the following areas: polymer development, colouration of textiles, textile functionalisation, and plasma treatment.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Complexes of metals such as Ru(II), Ir(III), Re(I) etc have attracted enormous interest in the literature due to their intriguing and attractive photophysical properties. Our group has paid particular attention to the study of complexes bearing 1,2,3-triazole based ligands and have shown these systems to have fascinatingly diverse properties from intense luminescent emission to highly novel photochemical reactivity. Such complexes therefore present potential applications in areas of materials science, biological luminescent imaging and in photodynamic molecular medicines. The project will therefore involve the synthesis and thorough photophysical characterisation of a series of triazole-based complexes and assessment for these potential applications.

See the following publications from our group

Labilising the ‘photoinert’: extraordinarily facile photochemical ligand ejection in a [Os(N^N)3]2+ complex
Paul A. Scattergood, Daniel A. W. Ross, Craig R. Rice and Paul I. P. Elliott
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2016, 55, 10697–10701

Photochemistry of [Ru(pytz)(btz)2]2+ and characterisation of a κ1-btz ligand-loss intermediate
Paul A. Scattergood, Usman Khushnood, Amina Tariq, David J. Cooke, Craig R. Rice and Paul I.P. Elliott
Inorganic Chemistry, 2016, 55, 7787-7796

Luminescent osmium(II) bi-1,2,3-triazol-4-yl complexes: photophysical characterisation and application in light-emitting electrochemical cells
Daniel A. W. Ross, Paul A. Scattergood, Azin Babaei, Antonio Pertegás, Henk J. Bolink and Paul I. P. Elliott
Dalton Transactions, 2016, 45, 7748-7757

Photochemistry of Ru(II) 4,4’-bi-1,2,3-triazolyl (btz) complexes: Crystallographic characterization of the photoreactive ligand loss intermediate trans-[Ru(bpy)(κ2-btz)(κ1-btz)(NCMe)]2+
Christine E. Welby, Georgina K. Armitage, Harry Bartley, Aaron Wilkinson, Alessandro Sinopoli, Baljinder S. Uppal, Craig R. Rice and Paul I. P. Elliott
Chemistry – A European Journal, 2014, 20, 8467-8476

Photochemical ligand ejection from non-sterically promoted Ru(II)bis(diimine) 4,4'-bi-1,2,3-triazolyl complexes
Christine E. Welby, Georgina K. Armitage, Harry Bartley, Alessandro Sinopoli, Baljinder S. Uppal and Paul I. P. Elliott
Photochemical Photobiological Sciences, 2014,13, 735-738

Unambiguous characterisation of a photoreactive ligand loss intermediate
Christine E. Welby, Craig R. Rice and Paul I. P. Elliott
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2013, 52, 10826-10829

Luminescent biscyclometalated arylpyridine iridium(III) complexes with 4,4’-bi-1,2,3-triazolyl ancillary ligands
Christine E. Welby, Luke Gilmartin, Ryan R. Marriott, Adam Zahid, Craig R. Rice, Elizabeth A. Gibson and Paul I. P. Elliott
Dalton Transactions, 2013, 42, 13527

Synthesis, characterisation and theoretical study of ruthenium 4,4'-bi-1,2,3-triazolyl complexes: fundamental switching of the nature of S1 and T1 states from MLCT to MC
Christine E. Welby, Stev Grkinic, Adam Zahid, Baljinder S. Uppal, Elizabeth A. Gibson, Craig R. Rice and Paul I. P. Elliott
Dalton Transactions, 2012, 41, 7637.

Funding

There is currently no funding for this project and we encourage interested self-funding students to apply. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £5,000 per annum are also required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

There are important key factors that have to be considered when studying nuclear materials. (1) An important challenge is the modelling of transport properties in polycrystalline materials, and hence at their interfaces and grain boundaries. Most interfaces are not pristine and dopants and fission products are likely to segregate, thus impacting the transport properties at the grain boundary. In this PhD, we will use atomistic simulations to model the effect of grain boundaries on the transport properties of actinide oxides. (2) Important challenges when studying the corrosion of actinides oxides is the effect of the environment on the surfaces of the materials. Indeed, radiolytic corrosion of actinide materials represent an issue for the long-term storage and disposal of nuclear materials. To be able to understand how surface composition affect the rate of radiolysis and corrosion, we will be using molecular modelling to predict surface composition at relevant conditions of temperature and pressure. By mapping the energetics of the interactions, we can calculate temperature of desorption and predict nanoparticle morphology of actinides oxides. The PhD student will undertake novel research using multiscale computational approaches capable of gaining nanoscale and microscale insights into the chemistry, structure and processes at the surfaces and interfaces of materials for nuclear applications. The details of the project will be discussed with the candidate and the project will be tailored based on the candidate’s research interest. All research outputs: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=jAUrSBQAAAAJ&hl=en Examples of research outputs for this PhD are listed below: The energetics of carbonated PuO2 surfaces affects nanoparticle morphology: a DFT+U study. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2020/cp/d0cp00021c Defect segregation facilitates oxygen transport at fluorite UO2 grain boundaries. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsta.2019.0026 The critical role of hydrogen on the stability of oxy-hydroxyl defect clusters in uranium oxide. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2018/TA/C8TA02817F Computer simulation of defect clusters in UO2 and their dependence on composition. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022311514006849

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

A civil engineer cannot design architectural structures without knowing the mechanical properties of the building materials being used. Similarly, scientists and engineers require access to physical properties of chemicals to design and validate experiments and industrial processes. Physical properties depend on the nature of molecules of the substance. The ultimate generalisation of physical properties requires a complete understanding of molecular behaviour, which we do not have yet. Reliable physical property data estimation is important for a range of applications. These include the design of industrial processes, computer-aided molecular design, prediction of physicochemical properties for regulatory purposes, toxicity prediction, and determining the properties of substances for which direct measurement is difficult or impossible. There are a number of approaches to property estimation and prediction, including using the law of corresponding states, empirical data fitting, first order approximations using group contributions, quantitative structure-property relationships (QSPRs), statistical mechanics, and molecular modelling. However, many existing approaches fall down on a number of counts. Weaknesses include: replying on data collected under varying conditions or with different protocols; undefined ranges of applicability; use of imprecise data; repetition of data from the same compound within the training and/or validation dataset; inadequate or misinterpretation of statistics; inadequate and/or undisclosed dataset; and failure to validate correctly. This project will combine the power of experimental measurements with data analysis and computation modelling. It is expected that the triangulation and cross-validation of these approaches will allow us to greatly advance physical property estimation and prediction methodologies.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £5,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The purification of systems that exhibit azeotropic behaviour is a key challenge for many industrial processes. Various approaches to solving this challenge have been explored since the late 1920s. One such approach is pressure swing distillation (PSD). This method utilizes the pressure sensitivity of some binary azeotropes to shift the azeotropic composition of the mixture. Another, more common method that has been used since the 1920s is extractive distillation (ED). This method involves adding a third component called an entrainer to a binary mixture creating a ternary mixture. This method is becoming increasingly unpopular due to the restriction of solvent uses by environmental health and safety commissions world-wide, and it may continue to become more unpopular due to increase in global demand for reduced energy usage and CO2 emissions. As such it is imperative to better understand both approaches, to examine how they can be improved and to explore alternative solutions. For example, various PSD studies exist, however, these only scratched the surface of PSD development; this might be due in part to a lack of interest from industry or the prevalence of previous work into ED systems. These works, along with others have shown that PSD can have numerous benefits over more contemporary methods if built and utilized to full optimization. PSD could become more widely used, however, further work is needed to unlock the full potential of this methodology. Furthermore, the identification and study of greener solvents for use as entrainers in ED is a very underdeveloped area. In addition, alternative/novel methods for azeotrope purification are lacking and the reasons for an absence of innovation in this area is unclear. This project will utilise process simulation in order to examine the optimisation of existing approaches to azeotropic distillation, to identify and test more environmentally friendly entrainers for ED and to explore the feasibility of novel methods for azeotrope purification.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3.000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

There are important key factors that have to be considered when studying energy materials. (1) An important challenge is the modelling of transport properties in polycrystalline materials, and hence at their interfaces and grain boundaries. Most interfaces are not pristine and dopants are likely to segregate, thus impacting the transport properties at the grain boundary. In fluorite-based materials as dopants accumulate at the grain boundaries so do oxygen vacancies, which blocks transport of oxygen across the interface. This is known as the “grain boundary blocking effect” in the space charge theory. However, as the segregation behaviour is highly dependent on the grain boundary there is scope to control the transport properties at the interface. In this PhD, we will use atomistic simulations to model the effect of grain boundaries on the transport properties of energy oxide materials. (2) Surface morphology is known to affect catalytic activity. Here one of the key challenges is to identify strategies to enhance the expression of such surfaces and also to prevent their disappearance over time. To understand how surface composition affect the surface catalysis, we will be using molecular modelling to predict surface composition at relevant conditions of temperature and pressure. By mapping the energetics of the interactions, we can calculate temperature of desorption and predict nanoparticle morphology of catalytically relevant oxides. The PhD student will undertake novel research using multiscale computational approaches capable of gaining nanoscale and microscale insights into the chemistry, structure and processes at the surfaces and interfaces of materials for energy generation and catalysis. The details of the project will be discussed with the candidate and the project will be tailored based on the candidate’s research interest. All research outputs: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=jAUrSBQAAAAJ&hl=en Examples of research outputs for this PhD are listed below: Controlling the {111}/{110} surface Ratio of Cuboidal Ceria Nanoparticles. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsami.8b21667 The role of dopant segregation on the oxygen vacancy distribution and oxygen diffusion in CeO2 grain boundaries. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2515-7655/ab28b5 Thermodynamic Evolution of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticle Morphology Using Carbon Dioxide https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c07437 Concurrent La and A-Site Vacancy Doping Modulates the Thermoelectric Response of SrTiO3: Experimental and Computational Evidence. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsami.7b14231 Structural, Electronic, and Transport Properties of Hybrid SrTiO3-Graphene and Carbon Nanoribbon Interfaces. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b02253 Structural, electronic and thermoelectric behaviour of CaMnO3 and CaMnO(3− δ). https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2014/ta/c4ta01514b

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Graphene has been heralded as a “wonder material” and is among a number of recently discovered carbon allotropes that demonstrate outstanding and versatile properties. Chemical vapour deposition (CVD) is a powerful and flexible technique for creating single- and multilayer-graphene and carbon nanotubes. These new materials exhibit a variety of unique and tuneable optical, electronic, mechanical, structural, thermal and chemical properties, offering the prospect of applications in photovoltaics, nanoelectronics, sensors, display technology, nanocomposites, simulated photosynthesis, batteries and supercapacitors. The aim of this project is to understand and optimise the CVD synthesis and graphene transfer/utilisation conditions on the final properties of graphene materials produced. This will involve examining the effect of substrate properties and processing conditions on the graphene material morphological and physical properties. The optimisation of these properties and parameters will lead to new materials with “super”-properties, making them suitable to fulfil a range of unmet industrial needs. Potential applications include super-strong fibres, supercapacitors and superconductors.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £5,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

This research will be in the area of synthetic organic chemistry and will focus specifically on the synthesis of heterocyclic natural products. The targets of this project are the indolizidine and pyrrolizidine alkaloids. These systems are of interest in the possible treatment of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes and viral infections such as AIDS, and some of them have the potential to function as potent analgesics or as potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. Examples of such compounds include the well-known "poison frog alkaloids".

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £6,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

This topic is in the area of synthetic organic chemistry used to target heterocyclic products with medicinal applications. The heterocyclic targets include pyrrolo-fused natural products such as the pyrrolobenzodiazepines and their sulfur analogues, beta-sultams, homotropanes, isoflavones, oxadiazoles and aza-sugars. The biological activities that we are interested in include anti-tumour compounds, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory compounds that target diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

We are involved in research programmes with cancer biologists that require the preparation of novel molecules for testing. This includes the development of synthetic methodology to prepare potential drugs containing fluorescent tags and antibody conjugates.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £xx per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Silicon is the second most abundant element on Earth however its synthetic chemistry has been little studied compared to its close neighbour carbon. The aim of this project is to develop new synthetic methods to access silicon heterocycles. These types of compounds are becoming of increasing interest in drug discovery.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £6,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more.

Supervisors

How to apply

All major areas of chemistry are covered with areas of strength including:

• synthetic organic chemistry • physical organic chemistry • carbohydrates, proteins and enzyme chemistry • organometallic and supramolecular chemistry • heterogeneous catalysis and adsorption • thermal methods of analysis and synthesis • materials chemistry

To find out more about the research we conduct, take a look at our Research, Innovation and Skills webpages, where you will find information on each research area. To find out about our staff visit ‘Our experts’ which features profiles of all our academic staff.

You will need to complete a research proposal outlining your areas of interest and when this is submitted along with your research degree application form we will look for the academics within the University who have the expertise and knowledge to supervise you and guide you through your research degree.

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The University of Huddersfield has a thriving research community made up of over 1,350 postgraduate research students. We have students studying on a part-time and full-time basis from all over the world with around 43% from overseas and 57% from the UK.

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through undertaking research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills which are current and relevant to your specialist area.

[Find out more about our research staff and centres|http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/]

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