Physical Crystallography and Materials Discovery


Single crystals of functional materials can provide a wealth of structural and physical information to the materials chemist, revealing the positions of the atoms and enabling their detailed connection to properties, that is often unavailable or hard to obtain from polycrystalline samples.

The student will gain expertise in various techniques to synthesise and grow single crystals of a range of materials with functional properties e.g., ultra low-thermal conductivity, topological behaviour, or ionic conductivity. Using modern single crystal diffraction techniques, crystal chemistry and physics the student will determine the detailed crystal structures of the materials to relate to their measured properties. There will also be the opportunity to develop skills in complex structure solution from powder X-ray diffraction experiments, providing further opportunities to expand crystallographic experience.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a strong team of computational and experimental material chemists working together in the discovery of new materials. The student will be part of the £8.7 million EPSRC Programme Grant “Digital navigation of chemical space for function”, and based in the state-of-the-art laboratories of the Materials Innovation Factory ( at the University of Liverpool. As well as obtaining knowledge and experience in crystallographic techniques, the student will develop skills in teamwork and scientific communication as computational and experimental researchers within the team work closely together. Applications are welcomed from candidates with a strong undergraduate interest and/or background in solid state chemistry, condensed matter physics, materials science or related fields.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Claridge (

Please ensure you include the project title in your online application and quote reference CCPR064


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

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.



1. Q.D Gibson, C.M. Robertson, M.S. Dyer, M. Zanella, T.W. Surta, L.M. Daniels, J.B. Claridge, J. Alaria, M.J. Rosseinsky, Single crystal growth and properties of the polar ferromagnet Mn1.05Bi with Kagome layers, huge magnetic anisotropy and slow spin dynamics, Phys. Rev. Mater. (2022) Accepted.

2. Q.D. Gibson, J.A.Newnham, M.S.Dyer, C.M.Robertson, M.Zanella, T.W.Surta, L.M.Daniels, J.Alaria, J.B.Claridge. M.J.Rosseinsky, Expanding multiple anion superlattice chemistry: Synthesis, structure and properties of Bi4O4SeBr2 and Bi6O6Se2Cl2, J. Solid State Chem. 312 (2022) 123246

3. G. Han, A. Vasylenko, A.R. Neale, B.B. Duff, R. Chen, M.S. Dyer, Y. Dang, L.M. Daniels, M. Zanella, C.M. Robertson, L.J. Kershaw Cook, A.-L. Hansen, M. Knapp, L.J. Hardwick, F. Blanc, J.B. Clardige, M.J. Rosseinsky, Extended Condensed Ultraphosphate Frameworks with Monovalent Ions Combine Lithium Mobility with High Computed Electrochemical Stability, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 143 (2021), 18216-18232

4. A. Morscher, M.S. Dyer, B.B. Duff, G. Han, J. Gamon, L.M. Daniels, Y. Dang, T.W.Surta, C.M. Robertson, F. Blanc, J.B. Claridge, M.J. Rosseinsky, Li6SiO4Cl2: A Hexgonal Argyrodite Based on Antiperovskite Layer Stacking, Chem. Mater. 33 (2021), 2206-2217

5. C. Collins, M.S. Dyer, M.J. Pitcher, G.F.S. Whitehead, M. Zanella, P. Mandal, J.B. Claridge, G.R. Darling, & M.J. Rosseinsky,  Accelerated discovery of two crystal structure types in a complex inorganic phase field,  Nature 546 (2017) 280-284

6. H C Sansom, G F S  Whitehead, M S Dyer, M Zanella, T D Manning, M J Pitcher, T J Whittles, V R Dhanak, J Alaria, J B Claridge, et al., AgBiI4 as a Lead-Free Solar Absorber with Potential Application in Photovoltaics, Chem. Mater. 29 (2017) 1538-1549