PhD position to research on biomimetic approaches in NH3 electro synthesis via operando spectroscopy at University of Salford

Ammonia is one of the most important bulk chemicals. In particular, through its use in the production of fertilizers it plays no small part in feeding the earthā€™s population, which has increased more than fourfold since industrial production of ammonia via the Haber-Bosch process has become possible. Environmentally friendly production of ammonia is thus a key technology required for a carbon-neutral economy.  A promising way forward is copying nature by harvesting solar energy to fix N2 at atmospheric conditions by means of electrocatalysis. This PhD position is a joint adventure between the University of Salford and the Diamond Light Source, in which the student will explore biomimetic synthesis of electrocatalysts for the activation of N2 and its conversion to NH3 in the gas phase and at atmospheric conditions. The PhD project will involve also the application of surface-sensitive synchrotron-based in-situ spectroscopic techniques to be carried out at B07 VERSOX beamline at Diamond Light Source.

The studentship will be based for 50% of the time at the University of Salford in Manchester and the other 50% of the time at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. The successful applicant should have a background in chemistry or electrochemistry and have practical knowledge of at least some of the following: thin film deposition techniques, electrochemical methodologies, materials characterization using spectroscopic techniques including data analysis.

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