PhD UK/EU Studentship: Fast Field Cycling NMR Studies of Porous Materials

open until filled
Natural Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, United Kingdom

Fully-funded 3-year PhD studentship with Professor Lynn Gladden, Dr. Andy Sederman and Dr. Mick Mantle. To start 1 October 2017. Due to funding regulations, this studentship is only available to UK and EU nationals. Students must meet the eligibility criteria at:

The aim of this project is to develop and explore the use of Fast Field Cycling NMR to advance our understanding of porous materials. In conventional NMR experiments we perform experiments at a fixed magnetic field; such measurements can be used to characterise pore size and adsorption of molecules within those pores. There is increasing interest in exploring how new insights into the dynamics of molecules in porous materials might be obtained by being able to perform NMR relaxation time measurements over a very large number of magnetic field strengths within the same experiment. The experimental method to do this is called Fast Field Cycling NMR.

The student undertaking this project should be motivated to learn and understand the basic physics and chemistry of NMR relaxation time measurements and the FFC experiment, as well as the physics and chemistry related to the materials that we will study. Areas of application that we will explore are:

Heterogeneous catalysis: To what extent can we characterise the dynamics of molecules at the surface of catalysts and the adsorption interaction of those molecules with the surface? Multi-component, multi-phase behaviour in rock cores: How do different molecules adsorb and diffuse through porous rocks? How do these properties depend on the surface chemistry and pore size of the rock? This is relevant to CO2 sequestration, ground water remediation and hydrocarbon recovery. Controlled release pharmaceutical delivery: In many of these systems a pharmaceutically active agent is released through a polymer or powder matrix. Under certain condition of, for example, pH body fluids penetrate the matrix causing it to swell thereby enabling the release of the active agent. How might the matrix be optimised to undergo the required phase change (and associated change in porosity) so as to optimise the release of the active?

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.

Informal enquires may be directed to either Dr Mick Mantle ( or Dr Andy Sederman ( Please do not send applications to Drs. Mantle or Sederman.

To apply for the studentship:

Include the Vacancy Reference number LFGPHD005A in the subject line of your email.

Send your CV, to include grades/marks received in relevant examinations, to by 17:00 on 19 May 2017.

Please quote reference LFGPHD005A on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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