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 our basic scientific understanding of the connection between chemical composition, crystal structure and physical properties. 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 multiple anions [Vasylenko 2021, Gibson 2021, Morscher 2021].

You will work closely with a strong team of computational and experimental material chemists, and will participate in the selection of synthetic targets in a process that uses computational and machine learning methods together with chemical understanding. You will thus gain understanding of how the artificial intelligence methods developed in the team accelerate materials discovery, and be able to contribute to the development of these models, which are designed to incorporate human expertise. The project based in the recently-opened Materials Innovation Factory (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/materials-innovation-factory/) at the University of Liverpool and is associated with the EPSRC Programme Grant “Digital navigation of chemical space for function”. As well as obtaining knowledge and experience in materials synthesis and crystallographic techniques, you 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.


Please ensure you include the project title in your online application and quote reference CCPR062


Open to students worldwide

Funding information

Funded studentship

The funding for this position may be a University of Liverpool School Funded Studentship (SFS) or an EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (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/.

If this studentship is funded by the EPSRC DTP scheme and is offered for 3.5 years in total. It provides full tuition fees and a stipend of approx. £17,668 (this is the rate from 01/10/2022) full time tax free per year for living costs. The stipend costs quoted are for students starting from 1st October 2022 and will rise slightly each year with inflation.

The funding for this studentship also comes with a budget for research and training expenses of £1000 per year, and for those that are eligible, a disabled students allowance to cover the costs of any additional support that is required.

Due to a change in UKRI policy, this is now available for Home, EU or international students to apply. However, please be aware there is a limit on the number of international students we can appoint to these studentships per year.



J. Gamon, MS. Dyer, BB. Duff, A. Vasylenko, LM. Daniels, M. Zanella, MW. Gaultois, F. Blanc, JB. Claridge, and MJ. Rosseinsky, (2021) Li4.3AlS3.3Cl0.7: A Sulfide–Chloride Lithium Ion Conductor with Highly Disordered Structure and Increased Conductivity, Chem. Mater., 33, 8733-8744

A. Morscher, MS. Dyer, BB. Duff, G. Han, J. Gamon, LM. Daniels, Y. Dang, TW. Surta, CM. Robertson, F. Blanc, JB. Claridge, MJ. Rosseinsky, (2021) Li6SiO4Cl2: A Hexagonal Argyrodite Based on Antiperovskite Layer Stacking, Chem. Mater., 33, 2206-2217

QD. Gibson, T. Zhao, LM. Daniels, HC. Walker, R. Daou, S. Hébert, M. Zanella, MS. Dyer, JB. Claridge, B. Slater, MW. Gaultois, F Corà, J. Alaria, MJ. Rosseinsky, (2021) Low thermal conductivity in a modular inorganic material with bonding anisotropy and mismatch, Science, 373, 1017-1022

A. Vasylenko, J. Gamon, BB. Duff, VV. Gusev, LM. Daniels, M. Zanella, JF. Shin, PM. Sharp, A. Morscher, R. Chen, AR. Neale, LJ. Hardwick, JB. Claridge, F. Blanc, MW. Gaultois, MS. Dyer, MJ. Rosseinsky (2021), Element selection for crystalline inorganic solid discovery guided by unsupervised machine learning of experimentally explored chemistry, Nat. Commun., 12, 5561

CM. Collins, LM. Daniels, Q. Gibson, MW. Gaultois, M. Moran, R. Feetham, MJ. Pitcher, MS. Dyer, C. Delacotte, M. Zanella, CA. Murray, G. Glodan, O. Perez, D. Pelloquin, TD. Manning, J. Alaria, GR. Darling, JB. Claridge, MJ. Rosseinsky, (2021) Discovery of a Low Thermal Conductivity Oxide Guided by Probe Structure Prediction and Machine Learning. Angew. Chem.-Int. Ed. 60, 2–11

HC. Sansom, G. Longo, AD. Wright, LRV. Buizza, S. Mahesh, B. Wenger, M. Zanella, M. Abdi-Jalebi, MJ. Pitcher, MS. Dyer, TD. Manning, RH. Friend, LM. Herz, HJ. Snaith, JB. Claridge, MJ. Rosseinsky, (2021) Highly Absorbing Lead-Free Semiconductor Cu2AgBiI6 for Photovoltaic Applications from the Quaternary CuI-AgI-BiI3 Phase Space. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 143 (10). 3983 - 3992.

J. Gamon, AJ. Perez, LAH. Jones, M. Zanella, LM. Daniels, RE. Morris, CC. Tang, TD. Veal, LJ. Hardwick, MS. Dyer, JB. Claridge and MJ. Rosseinsky, (2020) Na2Fe2OS2, a new earth abundant oxysulphide cathode material for Na-ion batteries. J. Mater. Chem. A., 8, 20553-20569.