Experimental Discovery of New Inorganic Materials


New inorganic materials are needed to advance technologies such as batteries for electric vehicles and grid storage, and to develop basic science. This PhD project is an exciting opportunity for the experimental synthesis and detailed characterisation of new inorganic solids. The project will combine synthetic solid-state chemistry, advanced structural analysis (crystallography) and measurement of physical properties, with the opportunity to focus on one or more of these aspects during the project. The project will concentrate on the discovery of new bonding types and structures in inorganic solids, as exemplified by materials containing three anions1-2 and inorganic materials with unit cells of comparable size to proteins3.

You will work closely with a strong team of computational and experimental material chemists working together in the discovery of new materials. The student will be part of the £8.6 million EPSRC Programme Grant in Integration of Computation and Experiment for Accelerated Materials Discovery, and based in the newly-opened Materials Innovation Factory (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/materials-innovation-factory/) at the University of Liverpool. As well as obtaining knowledge and experience in materials synthesis and crystallographic techniques, the student will develop skills in teamwork and scientific communication, as computational and experimental researchers within the team work closely together. There are extensive opportunities to use synchrotron X-ray and neutron scattering facilities.

Applications are welcomed from students with a 2:1 or higher master’s degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics, or Materials Science, particularly those with some of the skills directly relevant to the project outlined above.

To apply please visit, https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/how-to-apply/ and click the ‘Ready to apply? Apply online’ button


Open to students worldwide

Funding information

Funded studentship

The funding for this position may be a University of Liverpool GTA or an EPSRC DTP studentship. The eligibility details of both are below.

EPSRC eligibility

Applications from candidates meeting the eligibility requirements of the EPSRC are welcome – please refer to the EPSRC website http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/.

The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years. The maintenance grant is £15,009 pa for 2019-20, with the possibility of an increase for 2020/21. 

GTA eligibility (EU or non-EU students only)

Depending on the successful applicant (EU or non-EU) this studentship would include a commitment to work up to 77 hours per academic year to help with teaching-related activities in modules currently taught in the Department of Chemistry, as assigned by the Head of Department or his representative. The award will pay full home/EU tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years. Non-EU applicants may have to contribute to the higher non-EU overseas fee.



  1. Gibson, Q. D.; Dyer, M. S.; Robertson, C.; Delacotte, C.; Manning, T. D.; Pitcher, M. J.; Daniels, L. M.; Zanella, M.; Alaria, J.; Claridge, J. B.; Rosseinsky, M. J., Bi2+2nO2+2nCu2−δSe2+n–δXδ (X = Cl, Br): A Three-Anion Homologous Series. Inorg. Chem. 2018, 57 (20), 12489-12500.
  2. Gibson, Q. D.; Dyer, M. S.; Whitehead, G. F. S.; Alaria, J.; Pitcher, M. J.; Edwards, H. J.; Claridge, J. B.; Zanella, M.; Dawson, K.; Manning, T. D.; Dhanak, V. R.; Rosseinsky, M. J., Bi4O4Cu1.7Se2.7Cl0.3: Intergrowth of BiOCuSe and Bi2O2Se Stabilized by the Addition of a Third Anion. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139 (44), 15568-15571.
  3. Delacotte, C.; Whitehead, G. F. S.; Pitcher, M. J.; Robertson, C. M.; Sharp, P. M.; Dyer, M. S.; Alaria, J.; Claridge, J. B.; Darling, G. R.; Allan, D. R.; Winter, G.; Rosseinsky, M. J., Structure determination and crystal chemistry of large repeat mixed-layer hexaferrites. IUCrJ 2018, 5 (6), 681-698.