Polyoxothiometalates: The Primordial Answer to CO2 Mitigation? (FIELDENJ1_U18SF)

University of East Anglia
September 07 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Sulfurous oceanic hydrothermal vents containing transition metals are thought to have played a key role in converting CO2 into the chemical building blocks of life.(i) Therefore, these primordial metallo-sulfur soups likely contained superb pre-biotic molecular catalysts for CO2 and other small molecule activations, of potentially great value as we battle anthropogenic climate change. In this project, we will employ solvothermal conditions inspired by the deep ocean vents to explore new polyoxothiometalates (POTMs). Such all-inorganic clusters promise a new realm of molecular inorganic materials with high photo/redox stability due to their oxo-framework,(ii),(iii) the ability to accept and transfer multiple electrons,(ii),(iii) and sulfur sites that provide substrate-binding(iv) and photo-activity.(v) Thus, new catalytic science can be expected to emerge with great potential for converting CO2 into methane, short-chain hydrocarbons and other organic feedstocks.

The project involves synthesis of POTMs, their characterisation by X-ray crystallography and a range of spectroscopic techniques, and study of their electrochemical/electrocatalytic and photophysical/photocatalytic properties. Thus it will provide a very broad-based training in inorganic synthesis, molecular characterisation and physical measurement, in the excellent facilities of the interdisciplinary Energy Materials Laboratory. The successful applicant will have, or expect to obtain a first class, 2(i) or equivalent Honours degree in chemistry, and a strong interest in synthetic inorganic chemistry, materials properties and catalysis.

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr John Fielden (john.fielden@uea.ac.uk, 01603 593137).

Funding notes: 

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at http://www.uea.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research-degrees/fees-and-funding.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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