Next generation photoelectrodes for the production of solar fuels


A Ph.D. Studentship is available in the research group of and Dr Alex Cowan in the Department of Chemistry and the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy at the University of Liverpool developing next generation materials for carbon dioxide reduction.

The development of materials that are capable of converting solar energy into stored energy in the bonds of a chemical fuel is gaining increasing interest as a route to overcoming the intermittent nature of solar energy. Ideally solar fuels will be produced from waste or abundant feedstocks such as CO2. However to realise this goal new, more efficient photoelectrodes for the reduction of CO2 to products such as CO, CH3OH, CH4 are required.

The successful student will join an established programme that aims to design, synthesise and study a range of molecular electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction then and immobilise them on light absorbing semiconductor electrodes. The project will require the student to develop skills in electrochemistry and expertise in the synthesis of molecular catalysts. Additionally the student will work alongside a team of physical chemists who are using advanced spectroscopic techniques to study how the catalysts work, providing the information required to develop the students’ materials in a rational manner.

Applications are encouraged from highly motivated candidates who have, or expect to have, at least a 2:1 degree or equivalent in Chemistry. The studentship includes a commitment of up to 6 hours teaching per week during teaching semesters (demonstrations in laboratories and seminars).

Informal enquiries are also encouraged and should be addressed to Dr Alex Cowan (

Applications should be made as soon as possible but no later than the 1 November 2018

To apply for this opportunity, please click here.


Open to EU/UK applicants

Funding information

Funded studentship

The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years.  This fully funded position is open to UK and EU citizens.



Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 14200, Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 1521


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