Spin-crossover compounds – switchable materials from simple metal complexes


Contact Professor Malcolm Halcrow to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

This is caused by a high-spin-to-low-spin transition at a transition metal centre, and is accompanied by a colour change. Materials like these, whose colours can be reversibly and rapidly switched, have applications in display, memory and sensor devices and in optical computing.

We have projects in various aspects of this chemistry, involving organic and inorganic synthesis; crystallography and powder diffraction; solid and solution-phase magnetic measurements; and other techniques as appropriate. Spin-crossover in solid materials can occur abruptly, but is more often observed as a more gradual thermal equilibrium.

A fraction of spin-crossover materials also exhibit thermal hysteresis in their transitions; these are most suitable for the applications mentioned above. Whether a compound undergoes spin-crossover gradually or abruptly, with or without hysteresis, is controlled by the crystal packing in the bulk material rather than the molecule itself. We aim to understand the relationship between structure and function, so we can design new spin-crossover materials from scratch. We are also pursuing different ways to incorporate new functionality into spin-crossover materials.

A current goal is to find a new spin-crossover molecule that is suitable to use in molecular devices and nanoscience, which will widen the range of applications that spin-crossover materials can be used for.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/or a Master's degree in a relevant science subject such as (but not limited to) chemistry or chemical engineering.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'Spin-Crossover Compounds – Switchable Materials from Simple Metal Complexes’ as well as Professor Malcolm Halcrow as your proposed supervisor.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office e: maps.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk.