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The University of Southampton

PhD Studentship: “High Throughput Discovery and Optimisation of Model Heterogeneous Catalysts”

Published: 29 June 2011

(available to UK/EU nationals only) Prof. Brian E. Hayden, Chemistry, University of Southampton, UK

We are seeking an academically excellent, bright, motivated individual to join the Hayden “Surface Science and Materials Discovery Group” as a PhD student. Recent advances in high-throughput synthesis of materials using modified Molecular Beam Epitaxy methods1 has accelerated the route to discovery of a wide range of materials in the electronics and energy sectors, including phase change memory materials, photovoltaic materials, hydrogen storage materials, piezoelectric materials, battery materials, and in particular fuel cell catalysts.2 We would like to extend the technique to the discovery of new heterogeneous catalysts, exploiting the same philosophy as that applied to electrocatalysts i.e. the screening of activity on well defined systematically varying model catalysts. Recently developed methods of controlling the support and particle size3,4 of the metal, and the application of a recently developed hotplate chip combined with an atmospheric environmental cell make the extension of investigations to heterogeneous catalysts timely. In the first instance we wish to investigate low temperature selective oxidation reactions particularly pertinent to the cleanup of reformate streams for a potential hydrogen economy, and reactions relevant to automotive exhaust conversions. Both a primary (based on heat transfer) and secondary (based on gas analysis of product distributions) will be developed.

The successful applicant will join a team of PhD and postdoctoral scientists working in the area of surface science and high throughput materials discovery, and state of the art synthetic, screening and characterization facilities will be available for the project.5

For informal enquiries related to this project contact Prof. Brian Hayden by email (

For application details contact Mrs Chun Borodzicz, Postgraduate Admissions Administrator, at

1. Samuel Guerin, Brian E.Hayden ; J. Combinatorial Chemistry 8 (2006) 66-73.
3. Samuel Guerin, Brian E. Hayden, Derek Pletcher, Michael E. Rendall, Jens-Peter Suchsland and Laura J. Williams;. Combinatorial Chemistry 8 (2006) 791-798.
4. Brian E. Hayden, Derek Pletcher and Jens-Peter Suchsland; Angewandte Chemie International Edition 46 (2007) 3530-3532.

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