Open PhD position (C-X bond formation)

Title: Development of heterogeneous catalytic processes for C-X bond formation.

Introduction: Catalytic science is at the forefront of the chemical industry, responsible for the production of over 90 % of industrial compounds. Heterogeneous catalysts offer several practical advantages, and the development of new heterogeneous catalysts and catalytic processes represents a key area of contemporary research.

Outline of PhD: A major focal point of our team’s research is functional group insertion and modification, such as C-O formation (through selective oxidation), and C-F formation (through fluorination). In this respect, our group is seeking a talented PhD student to contribute to our efforts in this field (see: Catalysts (2015) 5, 2309; ChemCatChem (2015) 7, 434; ACS Catalysis (2013) 3, 1835; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2012) 51, 5129; ChemSusChem (2012) 5, 1668). Several possible research challenges and projects will be explored, including

  • Selective oxidation of organic molecules (e.g. alkane activation)
  • Catalytic C-F bond formation (e.g. late stage fluorination)
  • Peroxide activation, and
  • Preparation of heterogeneous catalysts by mechanochemical methods.

A variety of catalytic systems and heterogeneous materials will be investigated, and detailed project descriptions and planning will be undertaken directly with the successful candidate.

The project will entail a wide range of methods, including material preparation and modification, catalytic testing (batch, continuous flow), analytical studies (e.g. product isolation, NMR/GC-MS) and in situ spectroscopic research. The primary aims will be to 1) develop novel methods of C-X bond formation, and 2) elucidate the mechanism(s) of reactivity through mechanistic and spectroscopic studies.

In addition, PhD students in the Hammond group are encouraged to participate in multiple side projects. As such, opportunities to utilise the skills developed during this project in other challenges of catalytic science will also be explored.

Candidate description: We are seeking exceptionally talented and motivated students to join our young, ambitious research team. Students should hold – or expect to obtain – a first class, or upper second class, honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, chemical engineering, material science, or a related subject. The candidate should have a very good knowledge of fundamental chemistry (especially organic chemistry and catalysis), and preferentially some experience with inorganic materials chemistry and advanced spectroscopy.

Application procedure: Candidates should send a CV and a personal statement directly to Ceri Hammond (hammondc4 at cardiff dot ac dot uk). The personal statement should include the rational for applying for the position, a summary of previous research experience, and an overview of their suitability for the position.

Funding situation: Full three year PhD studentship (RCUK stipend rates + fees) available to UK/EU candidates.


Further information and online application details can be found here.