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Characterisation of Materials for Heterogeneous Catalysis Using Advanced Analytical Techniques

Supervisor: Richard Walton

This PhD project is in collaboration with Johnson Matthey and the Warwick Analytical Science Centre for Doctoral Training, and will explore the use of a variety of advanced analytical techniques for the characterisation of materials used for catalysis in applications such as automotive catalytic converters. This will include a study of cerium oxides and zeolite materials that contain transition-metals. The aim is to gain an understanding the of distribution of redox-active sites and their relationship to the behaviour of the catalysts so that new materials can be prepared in the future with optimised properties. The materials will be provided by JM and also prepared as necessary in our laboratories in the Materials and Analytical Science Building at Warwick. Changes of local structure of the materials before and after use will be examined before moving to in operando studies.

The Ph.D. student working on the project will develop a range of methods for characterising the solid-state materials. This will span the full range of analytical techniques at Warwick, including X-ray diffraction, thermal analysis and microscopy, but with particular emphasis on developing magnetic measurements, EPR spectroscopy, X-ray spectroscopy for studies of catalyst materials. We will also make use of central facilities, such as Diamond Light Source to perform high-energy X-ray spectroscopy.

As a part of industrial training, the Ph.D. researcher working on this project will be given an opportunity to some of the most promising candidate materials in the research laboratories at the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre, Sonning Common.

This project is suitable for students with a background in the physical sciences (Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science) and the successful applicants will have a minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area. Note that due to funding restrictions, the post is open to applicants eligible for home fees only.

For further details please contact Professor Richard Walton:

Start date: 27 September 2021

This position has now been filled.