2 fully funded EPSRC DTP projects are offered in the Chemical Dynamics group at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK. Under EPSRC rules, only UK/EU students resident in the UK for the last 3 years are eligible. These studentships pay the relevant fees, and provide the student with a stipend for 3.5 years, starting at £14,777 in 2018-19. The studentships will start in October 2018. You should have, or expect to receive, a First or 2:1 Class MChem degree in Chemistry, or equivalent in a relevant related subject.
For more detail on the projects, please contact the relevant supervisor by email. You can apply on-line at https://www.hw.ac.uk/study/apply/uk/postgraduate.htm
Imaging the Dynamics of Inelastic and Reactive Molecular Collisions
Supervisor: Prof M. L. Costen, [log in to unmask]
Detailed understanding of molecular collisions, and the resulting energy transfer and/or reaction is vital to improved modelling of a wide range of important chemical environments, including planetary atmospheres, combustion and plasma systems and astrochemistry. In this project, you will apply state-of-the-art chemical dynamics techniques; crossed-molecular-beam scattering, coupled with high-resolution laser spectroscopy and velocity-map ion-imaging, to study the dynamics of molecular collisions. One strand of work will involve inelastic energy transfer of radicals important in practical environments e.g. NO, OH and CH, with rare gases and small molecules. Measurements of differential scattering cross sections, correlated energy transfer and product rotational angular momentum polarization will be compared to scattering calculations to provide sensitive tests of theoretical models. Reactive collisions of O-atoms and OH with saturated, unsaturated and functionalized hydrocarbons will form an additional work programme. Differential cross sections and product energy disposal will provide information on reaction pathways and branching, which will complement and inform the on-going programmes in our group of inelastic and reactive scattering of these species at gas-liquid interfaces, directly relevant to atmospheric chemistry.
Probing the surfaces of ionic liquids by reactive-atom scattering
Supervisor: Prof K.G. McKendrick, [log in to unmask]
Ionic liquids are an important class of compounds which have attracted enormous interest in recent years due to their potential use in widespread applications. In a number of these, such as CO2 sequestration, other gas separations, and multiphase catalysis, the structure of the extreme outer layer of the liquid is crucial in controlling molecular transfer through or reaction at the gas-liquid interface. Probing the structure of such interfaces is an important but experimentally challenging problem. It has been tackled using a number of conventional surface-science and surface-spectroscopy tools, but these all have their own limitations of excessive penetration depth or lack of chemical specificity.
We have been developing a promising alternative method, reactive-atom scattering, which is based on laser-spectroscopic detection of the products of the reaction of a gas-phase projectile with a specific functional group at the surface. By using oxygen atoms as the probe, we have demonstrated that the relative yields of the OH product reflect the exposure of alkyl functional groups at the extreme outer layer of the liquid. Building on recent successful proof-of-concept work, we will further develop this method to detect additional functional groups using novel reactive projectiles. We will apply it probe the surface composition of chemically heterogeneous liquids, particularly novel classes of ionic liquids, their mixtures, and solutions of low-volatility solutes in ionic-liquid solvents.
See the Chemical Dynamics Group website: http://dynamics.eps.hw.ac.uk/
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