Metallosupramolecular assemblies and metal-organic frameworks

Supervisor(s)

Professor Michaele Hardie (m.j.hardie@leeds.ac.uk)

Project description

Nanometre-sized polyhedral or prismatic chemical architectures can self-assemble from combinations of transition metal cations and multifunctional ligands. Likewise supramolecular materials such as coordination polymers or metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) may be formed. These assemblies are often hollow or porous and provide a confined chemical space where other molecules can be bound.

Hence many of these systems are being developed as nano-scale vessels or crystalline sponges for chemical entrapment, signalling and sensors, and even as tiny reaction vessels. We use the host molecule cyclotriveratrylene (CTV) as a scaffold as its relatively rigid pyramidal shape lends itself to the formation of cage-like or porous species, and analogues with three or six metal-binding groups can be made. These can form discrete metallo-cages, MOFs or other network materials including unique chemical topologies such as a Borromean chain-mail.

Different potential projects in this area include (i) functional metallo-cages for applications such as molecular recognition, chemical sensors or catalysis; (ii) trinuclear complexes of host ligands with luminescent or catalytic properties; (iii) stimuli-responsive metallo- and organic cages which can change shape or composition with a physical or chemical trigger. All projects include multi-step organic synthesis of ligands, synthetic coordination and supramolecular chemistry, solution characterisation of assemblies and host-guest and other properties using spectroscopic techniques, single crystal X-ray crystallography, and more.

Keywords: inorganic coordination chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, metal-organic frameworks

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 subject.

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 the 'Metallosupramolecular assemblies and metal-organic frameworks’ as well as Professor Michaele Hardie 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: maps.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk