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Mechanistic understanding of the formation of squaric acid based functional organic multi-component materials


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Monday 29 April 2024
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
Doctoral training partnership
Dr Anuradha Pallipurath and Professor Sven Schroeder
Additional supervisors
Dr Lucy Saunders and Dr Daniel Irving
School of Chemical and Process Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Are you interested in working in a large collaborative team towards advancing the understanding of how molecules interact during the crystallisation process?<br /> <br /> Are you interested in pioneering the use of new operando characterization techniques based on X-ray diffraction/scattering and Raman scattering?<br /> <br /> How organic molecules behave in solution and how they form crystals, has great impact on their production, processability and stability. The project focuses on known a functional material forming squaric acid with coformers that produce materials with properties such as thermochromism, electrochromism with an aim to work towards advancing the understanding of its crystallisation in solution. With a particular focus on the intermolecular interaction of molecules in the solution-state, this project hopes to better understand the role of the method of crystallisation on the properties of the functional material formed.<br /> <br /> This PhD studentship is jointly funded by the School of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Leeds (UoL) and by Diamond Light Source (DLS). The successful student will spend 50% of their time at the UoL and the other 50% across crystallography beamlines I11 (High resolution powder X-ray diffraction) and I15-1 (X-ray Pair Distribution Function &ndash; XPDF). <br /> <br /> You will have the opportunity to interact with a multidisciplinary team and the outcomes of your research will serve a wide community of researchers working in pharmaceuticals. Your research will be advised by Dr Anuradha Pallipurath and Prof Sven L.M.Schroeder at the University of Leeds, Dr Lucy Saunders at the I11 beamline and Dr Daniel Irving at the XPDF(I15-1) beamline of the Diamond Light Source.<br />

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px; text-align:justify">Particle engineering is a key area that drives forward materials research. Be it the crystallisation of materials from solution or their interaction as solid-state particles, is dominated by inter-molecular interactions.&nbsp; These interactions govern not only the functional form of the final product but also the processing conditions. Hence it is vital to understand the inter-molecular interactions that dominate the crystallisation process. With advances in X-ray sources and detector technology as well as computing power, it is now possible to follow crystallisation from solution and arrive at an experimentally validated solution structure model to enable us to identify key inter-molecular interactions and hence control them.&nbsp;</p> <p>The studentship will entail developing methods using X-ray pair distribution function analysis (XPDF) and Raman spectroscopy (PRS) to identify these inter-molecular interactions on model systems and apply them to in situ manufacturing conditions. Correlation of inter-molecular interactions arising from molecular conformations observed by PRS to local strucutre as observed by XPDF, will aid improvements in predictive design of functional materials and hence their manufacturing. There will also be opportunity to carry out electron diffraction and X-ray spectroscopic analysis on these systems.</p> <p><a href="">Diamond Light Source</a></p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <em><strong>EPSRC DTP Engineering &amp; Physical Sciences</strong></em>&nbsp;(if you do not apply to this programme code, your application will not be considered) and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Mechanistic understanding of the formation of squaric acid based functional organic multi-component materials</strong></em> as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr Anuradha Pallipurath</a> as your proposed supervisor.&nbsp; Please state in the Finance section that the funding source you are applying for is <em><strong>EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership 2024/25:&nbsp;Chemical &amp; Process Engineering.</strong></em></p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p>Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 29 April 2024:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p>A highly competitive EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship offering the award of fees, together with a tax-free maintenance grant (currently &pound;18,622 for academic session 2023/24) for 3.5 years.&nbsp; Training and support will also be provided.</p> <p>This opportunity is open to UK applicants only.&nbsp; All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.</p> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">For further information about this project, please contact Dr Anuradha Pallipurath by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a>&nbsp;or by telephone on&nbsp;+44 (0)113 343 6401.</p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>