Heterogeneous Catalysis and Surface Science (PhD/MPhil)
PhD 3-4 years; MPhil 1-2 years (Full-time) / n/a (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)
The School of Chemistry has developed a particular strength in Heterogeneous Catalysis and Surface Science, with a research group dedicated to this exciting area of study. As part of the Chemistry (PhD/MPhil) programme, students can conduct their research within this group.
To offer knowledge and expertise for a career in research and managerial roles in manufacturing industry (e.g. food, cosmetics, petrochemical etc), in academia, in the pharmaceuticals and fine chemical sectors, teaching, biomedical research fields.
- The School has undergone an extensive revitalisation in the last few years and occupies newly refurbished laboratories with excellent facilities for research and teaching.
- Chemistry continues to attract an expanding team of researchers, as well as maintaining an extensive network of industrial contacts.
- Strong interdisciplinary collaborations support projects across traditional subject divisions; postgraduates interact across these groups.
- New facilities for synthetic and catalytic chemistry, including an advanced pressurereaction suite for catalyst development and investigation and the opening of the laboratories of the new EPSRC-funded Physical Organic Chemistry Centre.
- Extensive collaborations internationally; a number of research programmes allow placements abroad, including in Europe and America.
This research group is the biggest in the country in these fields, consisting of 9 members of academic staff and 50 researchers in total. The research field encompasses catalysis by solid materials, the synthesis of nanomaterials, and their characterisation using a wide range of modern and novel techniques. Many new materials are discovered and some are patented. The group is closely involved with the newly founded Cardiff Catalysis Institute.
The group works closely with industry and has ties to a number of companies, such as BP, BASF, Sasol, Johnson Matthey and Toyota. The focus of the work is at the frontiers of nanomaterials and other properties. For example, several researchers are engaged in synthesising ‘nanogold’ because gold in such finely divided form is catalytically reactive. Another example is the fabrication of very small particles of Pd onto titania crystal surfaces, where it has been shown that the surface is not Pd at all, but an alloy of Pd and Ti.
Nanoscience, the fabrication of nanomaterials, imaging and analysis at very high resolution, is central to the work of the group. Much of the work relates to enhancing our environment. The Au catalysts mentioned above are used to remove poisonous CO from the environment at room temperature. New routes to speciality chemicals are being discovered, which remove by-products and therefore reduce the burden on the environment in terms of disposal. Work goes on relating to fuel cells, which have the potential to produce clean power for our cars by using hydrogen, producing only water in the exhaust. There are many other examples of work going on in this field.
Available Research Areas
- Surface Science
- Analytical Science
Materials synthesis, analytical science using a very wide range of techniques (e.g. XRD, BET, TGA, XPS, Raman and IR spectroscopy, SEM, STM/AFM), reactor design and use. Team working, project management.
The career prospects for graduates of this programme are excellent. Recent graduates have a gone on to work for a number of well known international companies including BP, Johnson Matthey, Avisa, RSC, Kratos, International Rectifier and DuPont.
Suitable for graduates with a good honours degree or equivalent in chemistry or a related subject. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to pass IELTS (6.5)/TOEFL exams.
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 General Student visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.
UK & EU Full Time for 2013/14
International Full Time for 2013/14
Next intake: The University has four entry points for research degrees; 1st October, 1st January, 1st April or 1st July
Name: Professor Thomas Wirth
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6968
Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4030