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The University of Southampton

Polymorphism and Reactivity in Agrochemicals

Published: 27 June 2011

Location: Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, France; and University of Southampton, UK in collaboration with University of Bath, UK This project will apply the techniques of neutron single crystal and powder diffraction to the crystallography of agrochemicals (herbicides and fungicides) providing key results which will impact on the cost and efficacy of their commercial use in the EU. Polymorphism and the control of crystal habit and growth, through, for example, the formation of co-crystals, are important parameters that need to be controlled in any industrial crystallization processes. An important feature in polymorph formation is the control of hydrogen bonding between molecules in the solid state hence the need for neutron diffraction to locate accurately hydrogen bonds, and the project will employ the superb facilities at ILL (e.g. the single-crystal diffractometers D19, VIVALDI, CYCLOPS and high-resolution powder diffractometers.)

The PhD student will undertake crystal growth and X-ray diffraction studies in the UK using state-of-the-art equipment ( see for studying crystal growth and the crystallography of agrochemicals. This will lead to the production of crystals and co-crystals suitable for subsequent study at the ILL. The PhD student will then analyze both the X-ray and neutron diffraction data to produce detailed and systematic models of crystal packing of functional agrochemical molecules. Training will be provided in a broad range of neutron techniques (ILL) and in advanced materials chemistry/crystallography (Southampton/UK).


Mark Weller, University of Southampton mtw(at)

Sax Mason, ILL Mason(at)


Candidate: the PhD student should have an interest in, and ideally some academic knowledge of, crystallography.

Deadline for application: 15th of July 2011

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