University of Reading

Unusual properties of New Inorganic Framework Materials

Deadline: Open all year round
Self Funded

Project Description

We have a vacancy for a PhD student to synthesise and characterize new materials with open-framework structures, such metal phosphates, transition-metal cyanides or metal-organic compounds.

The thermal behaviour of these materials will be investigated as many exhibit ‘negative thermal expansion’ – a curious property in which the structures shrink as temperature increases. In addition, such materials can often accommodate small molecules in cavities in their structures either for gas storage or vapochromism (gas sensor) applications.

The project will provide the student with training in solid-state synthesis (e.g. solvothermal methods) and characterization techniques including X-ray diffraction (both powder and single-crystal methods), neutron diffraction, thermal analysis and IR and UV spectroscopy.

Funding Information

This project is to be self-funded.

Application Process

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Chippindale ([email protected])


1. “Chemistry and structure by design: ordered CuNi(CN)4 sheets with Cu(II) in a square-planar environment”, A.M. Chippindale, S.J. Hibble, E. Marelli, E.J. Bilbe, A.C. Hannon and M. Zbiri, Dalton Trans., 44, 12502-12506 (2015).
2. “Mixed Copper, Silver, and Gold Cyanides, (MxM′1–x)CN: Tailoring Chain Structures To Influence Physical Properties”, A.M. Chippindale, S.J. Hibble, E.J. Bilbé, E. Marelli, A.C. Hannon, C. Allain, R. Pansu, and F. Hartl, J.A.C.S., 134, 16387 (2012).
3. “Helices, Chirality and Interpenetration: the Versatility and Remarkable Interconversion of Silver-Copper Cyanide Frameworks”, A.M. Chippindale and S.J. Hibble, J.A.C.S., 131, 12736–12744 (2009).