Fully funded PhD position for October 2019 entry
Start: October 2019
Duration: 39 months
Essential qualifications: 1st or 2:1 class MChem, MPhys, MSci degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science or Natureal Sciences. (Applicants with other qualifications may be considered on an individual basis.)
Funding status: Fully funded project (tuition fees and stipend covered)
Project description: Oxide-ion conductors for energy and environmental applications
Oxide-ion conductors are key components in energy-related (solid oxide fuel cells) and environmental applications (gas sensors/separation membranes). Our work in the last few years has led to some of the best materials in the temperature range targeted for applications (400-600oC).
The objectives of this PhD are to:
- optimise these and synthesise/characterise new/related materials,
- characterise the structures and the dynamics on these materials in ceramic and single crystal form,
- test the performance of selected materials in devices.
This will be achieved through one fundamental and one applied research strand.
In the first strand, materials will be prepared and characterised to gain an atomic-level understanding of the structure and properties. Experimental work will be underpinned my simulations: molecular dynamics calculations will provide atomic-level insight into the oxide-ion diffusion pathways, the directionality and the anisotropic nature of conductivity (essential for thin-film growth for devices). Calculations will be supported by observations of oxide-ion diffusion by methods which probe dynamics on different length-scales - impedance spectroscopy and inelastic neutron scattering. Both will be done on sintered ceramic samples (with spatial information is averaged out) and on oriented single crystals grown in-house using the floating zone method (to provide information about anisotropy).
In the second strand, the obtained evidence about the facile conductivity directions will be used to inform thin-film growth of promising materials. The aim will be to characterise them and test their performance in devices (fuel cells, functional membranes). Parts of this work will be carried out through collaborations via the Royal Society – Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship recently awarded to IRE.
At the Neutrons4Europe meeting in Grenoble
Huiyu, Chloe, Melissa and Ivana represented the group at the Neutrons4Europe meeting in Grenoble.
Huiyu, Chloe and Melissa gave posters and Ivana gave a talk at the Diffraction for Energy Materials session of the meeting. Huiyu's poster was on organic functional materials, Chloe's on fast ion conductors and Melissa's on inorganic phosphors.
IRE Group News
Group at the wedding of James Lewis and Helena Kelly
On 1 September 2018 we attended the (almost) third inter-Evans-groups wedding, between James Lewis (John's PhD 2018) and Helena Kelly (Ivana's undergraduate chemistry tutee and advisee).
It was a wonderful day and we wish James and Helena all the best in the future!
Ivana gives a keynote lecture at QENS-WINS 2018 conference in Hong Kong
QENS-WINS 2018 featured sessions on fundamental, instrument development and applied aspects of quasielastic and inelastic neutron scattering. Ivana gave a keynote lecture in the session on functional materials.
The talk focussed on the relationships between structure, dynamics and properties in oxide ion conductors, through the examples of La2Mo2O9-, fluorite- and apatite-type materials from Joe Peet's PhD work.
Chemistry Graduation Day 2018 - Congratulations to Drs Tate and Peet!
Matt Tate and Joe Peet both took part in the June 2018 graduation ceremony to celebrate obtaining their PhD degrees.
Congratulations also to our MChem/MSci group member graduates, Adam Lovett and Callum Wordsworth, who did excellent research projects and have graduated with flying colours.
Best of luck to all in the future!
PG Research Gala Symposium prize for Matt Chambers
Durham Chemistry annual PG Research Gala Symposium took place on 21 June.
Matt Chambers gave a talk entitled "Whetting Your Apatite for Total Scattering Analysis: Structural Investigations into La8R2(GeO4)6O3 (R = La, Bi, Sr) Ionic Conductors".
The audience and the judging panel liked it - well done on your prize, Matt!
Ivana gives a plenary lecture at the 25th meeting of the Serbian Crystallographic Society
The 25th meeting of the Serbian Crytstallographic Society featured plenary lectures by overseas speakers which covered a broad range of topics, including: modulated strycryres and twinned crystals (Vaclav Petricek), quantum crystallography (Piero Macchi), nucleation and crystallisation (Anne Spasojevic-de Bire), and challenges in structural characterisaiton of MOFs/coordination polymers (Christoph Janiak and Kittipong Chainok). Ivana's lecture was on inorganic energy materials and included aspects of both structural characterisaiton and dynamics.
Congratulations to Joe Peet on passing his PhD viva!
Congratulations to Joe on producing an excellent thesis and passing his PhD viva!
Joe joined the group after completing his MSci degree in Chemistry and Physics at Durham. His PhD project, co-supervised by Prof. Mark Johnson and Dr. Andrea Piovano at Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble, has produced interesting new insights into a number of oxide ion conductors through combined use of neutron scattering and simulations.
Powder Diffraction and Rietveld Refinement School 2018
The Powder Diffraction and Rietveld Refinement School took place in Durham 8 - 12 April 2018, with students from 23 countries from Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Australia. Lectures were given by John and Ivana Evans (Durham), Jeremy Cockcroft (UCL) and Andy Fitch (ESRF). Members of the IRE and JSOE research groups - Luiza de Araujo, Josie Auckett, Matt Chambers, Chloe Fuller, James Lewis, Huiyu Liu and Melissa Rodriguez-Garcia - helped as expert tutors for the classroom problem-soving sessions and computer exercises.
Expert tutors at PDRR 2018
Thanks to the tutors at Powder Diffraction and Rietveld Refinement School 2018: Luiza de Araujo, Josie Auckett, Matt Chambers, Chloe Fuller, James Lewis, Huiyu Liu and Melissa Rodriguez-Garcia.
Welcome to Dr. Josie Auckett
Dr. Josie Auckett is joining Durham Chemistry as a Royal Society Newton International Fellow.
Josie completed her PhD at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Prof. Chris Ling, and then worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at ANSTO, with Dr. Vanessa Peterson.
Her project at Durham will focus on the development of materials for two important energy-generation applications: solid oxide fuel cells and thermoelectric devices.
Collaborative work on the Belgrade Fortress pottery published in the Journal of Cultural Heritage
The results of an archaeometric study of the 17-18th century painted pottery excavated at Belgrade Fortress have been published in the Journal of Cultural Heritage. This work has been carried out in collaboration with three scientific institutions in Belgrade, Serbia: the Faculty of Physical Chemistry, the Institute of Archaeology and the Vinca Institute.
The Belgrade Fortress is a stunning historic landmark in Belgrade, located at the confluence of the Danube and the Sava rivers, and dating back to the 2nd century. Together with the Kalemegdan Park, it's a designated cultural monument of exceptional importance.
Research visit by Prof. Tom Vogt (University of South Carolina, USA)
Tom Vogt, a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Director of the NanoCenter at the University of South Carolina is visiting during the Epiphany term 2018 as an IAS Fellow.
Tom is a renowned expert in the field of inorganic functional materials, both naturally occuring and synthetic. He is particularly interested in elucidating their structural chemistry and structure property relationships by advanced diffraction- and electron microscopy-based methods.
Chloe wins a conference poster prize!
Chloe won the poster prize at the ISIS Crystallography Users Meeting & PCG-SCMP Winter Meeting 2017. Well done, Chloe!
Welcome to new group members!
Welcome to three new group members: Chloe Fuller (Ph.D), Adam Lovett (MChem) and Callum Wordsworth (MSci).
Research visit by Prof. Chris Ling (School of Chemistry, University of Sydney)
Professor Chris Ling from the School of Chemisty at the University of Sydney visited the group in September-October 2017, on a joint Royal Society International Exchanges grant.
Melissa gives a talk at XV SYMPOSIUM MX
Melissa gave a talk on her research on luminescent materials for energy applications at the XV Symposium of Mexican Studies and Students.
Felicitaciones por su primera conferencia - bien hecho!
Collaborative work on Studenica UNESCO World Heritage Site pottery featured at ECerS 2017
Professor Ljiljana Damjanovic (Faculty of Physical Chemistry, University of Belgrade) gave a talk at the 2017 European Ceramics Society conference which featured collaborative work on the pottery from the Studenica Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage Site in Serbia.
In addition to the Faculty of Physical Chemistry in Belgrade and Durham Chemistry, this project involves the Institute of Archaeology and the Faculty of Mining and Geology in Belgrade, and the Australian Synchrotron and CSIRO in Melbourne.
Congratulations to Chloe Fuller - winner of the MChem Thesis Prize 2017
Chloe won this year's MChem Alumni MChem Thesis prize for her thesis entitled "Experimental and Computational Studies of Ionic Mobility in Functional Oxides".
Well done, Chloe!
Chemistry Graduation Day 2017!
Congratulations to Zara Duncan, Chloe Fuller and Jenny Stansby on completing their MChem degrees!
Joe Peet gives a talk at the Solid State Ionics conference in Padova
Joe gave a talk in the session on dynamics at the 21st International Conference on Solid State Ionics in Padova, Italy. He talked about his work on La2Mo2O9, published recently in Chemistry of Materials.
June has been a busy month with Joe speaking at the ILL topical day on ionic conduction, at the Solid State Ionics conference and at the Neutron and Muon User Meeting.
Congratulations to Matt Tate on passing his PhD viva!
And not only congratulations - a big "Thank you!" to Matt, too, for being a fantastic team member over a number of years!
Matt joined the group as an MChem student, and went on to undertake a PhD project co-supervised by Prof. Garry McIntyre at ANSTO, on structure-property relationships in oxide ion conductors. Over the years, he generously helped new starters in the group, and shared both his knowledge and his enthusiasm for solid state chemistry.
Thanks, Matt and - well done!
Ivana gives a research talk at the Faculty of Physical Chemistry in Belgrade, Serbia
Ivana gave a research talk at her first degree alma mater, Faculty of Physical Chemistry in Belgrade, Serbia.
Not only was this Ivana's first lecture at Physical Chemistry in Belgrade, in the very theatre in which she she had most of her lectures as an undergraduate student, but this was her first ever research talk in Serbian!
Crystal growth in Sydney
As part of a joint research project with A/P Chris Ling, Ivana and John carried out work in the floating zone furnace crystal growth laboratory in the School of Chemistry, University of Sydney.
It was also nice to see Chun-Hai Wang, a former postdoc in John's group, now working with Brendan Kennedy and Chris Ling at Sydney.
Welcome to new group members!
Welcome to five new group members: Huiyu Liu (Ph.D.), Melissa Monzerrat Rodriguez Garcia (Ph.D.), Zara Duncan (MChem), Chloe Fuller (MChem) and Jenny Stansby (MChem).
Powder Diffraction and Rietveld Refinement School 2016
The Powder Diffraction and Rietveld Refinement School took place in Durham 10-14 April 2016, with students from all inhabited continents - from Brazil, Germany, India, Turkey, USA, Canada, Norway, Serbia, France, Austria, Czech Republic, Morocco, Switzerland, Sweden, Slovenia, Spain and Australia. Lectures were given by John and Ivana Evans (Durham), Jeremy Cockcroft (UCL) and Andy Fitch (ESRF). Our PhD students Chris Ainsworth, Joe Peet and James Lewis also helped as tutors.
Welcome to new group members!
Welcome to three new group members: Matt Chambers (Ph.D.), Huiyu Liu (M. Res.) and Stuart Goldie (MChem).
Ivana undertakes a research leave at ANSTO, Sydney
Ivana spent 6 months as an invited research scientist at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). This research leave provided an opportunity to widen the current collaborations, establish new links with ANSTO, the University of Sydney and other institutions in Australia and give a number of research talks.
Congratulations to the MChem Graduates 2014
Congratulations to Heather Davies and Lorna Softley on completing their MChem degrees!
Ivana wins the Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award 2014
Ivana has won the Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award 2014, which Durham University awards to "recognise and reward individuals or groups of staff who have made an outstanding contribution to learning and teaching at Durham". The nomination was based around research-led teaching of undergraduate students.
Congratulations to Matt Tate - winner of the best solid state chemistry poster prize at the BCA Spring Meeting 2014
Congratulations to Matt, who won the RSC Solid State Chemistry Group - sponsored poster prize at the BCA Spring Meeting 2014. Matt’s poster was on structural and physical properties of Nb-doped bismuth oxides.
Congratulations to Beth Harriss - The SET award 2013 for the Best Chemistry Student of the Year
Congratulations to Beth on winning the 2013 Science, Engineering & Technology (SET) Best Chemistry Student of the Year award!
SET Awards recognise the "exceptional achievements of both students and universities". This year's Chemistry award was judged by a four-member academic panel appointed by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and sponsored by Shell.
Beth's nomination for the award was based on her MChem project entitled "Preparation and Characterisation of Pharmaceutical Cocrystals". Three finalists were selected, based on the project reports, from a pool of nominations from all over the UK. The final stage of judging included research project presentations and interviews with the panel at the RSC in London, on 26 September. Beth was pronounced the winner and received her award at a gala dinner that evening.
Beth's success shows what Durham Chemistry students can achieve during their undergraduate degree. It is great to see Beth's talent, hard work and dedication recognised by this national award!
Congratulations to the MChem Graduates 2013
Congratulations to Beth Harriss, Karwei So and Matt Tate on completing their MChem degrees!
Congratulations to Beth Harriss - Top of the MChem Class 2013
Additional congratulations to Beth, who finished her degree with two important prizes. Beth graduated as the top student in her class and for this she received the BP Chemicals Mastership of Chemistry. Beth was also awarded the Alumni Thesis prize for the best MChem project, entitled "Preparation and Characterisation of Pharmaceutical Cocrystals".
Congratulations to Jim Madge - Chemistry of Materials Cover Star
Work co-authored by Jim Madge, an MChem 2013 graduate, appeared on the cover of Chemistry of Materials in June 2013. Jim undertook his portion of the work during a summer research internship between the 3rd and 4th years of his MChem degree, based at the ILL in Grenoble. In this work, a combination of diffraction, ab-initio molecular dynamics simulations and quasi-elastic neutron scattering was to probe the structure and the mechanism of oxide ion migration in Bi26Mo10O69.
Research publications and presentations
11/18: Josie gave a talk at the PCG-SCMP winter meeting/ISIS Crystallography users meeting.
10/18: Huiyu, Melissa and Chloe presented posters at the Neutrons4Europe meeting in Grenoble.
09/18: Paper elucidating the behaviour of the above room temperature organic ferroelectric DC-MBI published in JACS - well done, Huiyu!
09/18: Melissa presented a talk and a prize-winning poster at the JUICED Energy Hub Postgraduate Research Symposium at UCL.
07/18: Ivana gave a keynote lecture at the 2018 QENS-WINS conference in Hong Kong.
06/18: Matt receives a prize for his talk at the Postgraduate Gala Symposium 2018 - well done, Matt!
06/18: Ivana gave a plenary talk at the IUCr-supported annual meeting of the Serbian Crystallographic Society
04/18: Joe Peet has passed his PhD viva - well done, Joe!
02/18: The first ab initio molecular dynamics study of a lone pair-containing apatite-type oxide ion conductors publishd in J Mat Chem A. Well done to Joe and Matt!
01/18: Paper on the characterisation of the17-18th century pottery from the Belgrade Fortress published in the Journal of Cultural Heritage
11/17: Ivana gave the inaugural external Solid State Seminar at Cambridge.
10/17: Computational study of the lone pair location in apatite-type materials, joint with the ILL, published in Dalton Transactions - well done Joe!
08/17: Paper on Bi(III)-containing apatite-type oxide ion conductors, joint with ANSTO and the Australian Synchrotron, published in Dalton Transactions - well done Matt and Chloe!
08/17: Paper on bismuth tungstate oxide ion conductors, joint with the Ling group at the University of Sydney and ANSTO, published in Solid State Ionics.
07/17: Ivana gave a research talk at the Institute of Physics in Belgrade.
07/17: Melissa gave a talk at the XV Symposium of Mexican Studies and Students.
06/17: Ivana gave a talk at the Neutron and Muon User Meeting.
06/17: Joe gave a talk at Student Day at the Neutron and Muon User Meeting.
06/17: Joe Peet gave a talk at the 21st International Conference on Solid State Ionics.
06/17: Matt Tate has passed his PhD viva - well done, Matt!
06/17: Joe gave a talk on his quasi-elastic neutron scattering and computational work at the ILL topical day on ionic conduction
05/17: Ivana gave a research talk at the Faculty of Physical Chemistry in Belgrade, Serbia
03/17: Direct Observation of Oxide Ion Dynamics in La2Mo2O9 on the Nanosecond Timescale: paper published in Chemistry of Materials - well done to Joe and Chloe!
01/17: Matt T's paper New Apatite-Type Oxide Ion Conductor, Bi2La8[(GeO4)6]O3: Structure, Properties, and Direct Imaging of Low-Level Interstitial Oxygen Atoms Using Aberration-Corrected Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy: paper published in Advanced Functional Materials
01/17: Ivana gave a research seminar at ANSTO.
12/16: Ivana gave a lecture at the ISIS Crystallography Users Meeting - PCG-SCMP Winter Meeting.
08/16: Ivana gave a research seminar at Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble, which focussed on the studies of structures and dynamics in fast ion conductors using neutron scattering and computational methods.
06/16: An Exhaustive Symmetry Approach to Structure Determination: Phase Transitions in Bi2Sn2O7 paper published in JACS
06/16: Ivana gave a talk on symmetry distortion mode refinements of molecular structures at the Topas user meeting in Bari, Italy.
2/16: Matt Tate gave a talk at the 40th Annual Condensed Matter and Materials Meeting in Wagga Wagga, Australia.
12/15: Ivana gave a talk at the Christmas meeting of the British Radiofrequency Spectroscopy Group (BRSG) at the Institute of Physics, London. The presentation focussed on the complementary application of solid state NMR and diffraction methods to fast ion conductors.
10/15: Joe's paper providing the first experimental evidence of Na-ion mobility in Sr1−xNaxSiO3−0.5x materials has been accepted in ChemComm.
9/15: Hannah's paper on the nature of the extensive structural disorder in furosemide-isonicotinamide cocrystal is a September Hot Article in CrystEngComm.
7/15: Hannah's paper on the nature of structural disorder in furosemide-isonicotinamide cocrystal is accepted in CrystEngComm.
6/15: Ivana gave a talk at the Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.
5/15: Ivana gave a research talk at the School of Chemistry, University of Sydney, Australia.
4/15: Paper on infinitely adaptive transition metal oxychalcogenides published in Chemistry of Materials.
2/15 and 6/15: Ivana gave two research lectures at ANSTO, one on structural chemistry of energy materials and one on the use of physical characterisation techniques in cultural heritage science.
2/15: Ivana gave a lecture at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
2/15: Matt and Ivana gave talks at the 39th Annual Condensed Matter and Materials Meeting in Wagga Wagga, Australia.
1/15: Matt's paper on the structures and oxide Ion migration pathways in bismuth niobates published in the Journal of Solid State Chemistry.
12/14: Ivana gave a keynote lecture at the RSC Solid State Group Meeting in Glasgow.
11/14: Paper on the crystal structure and electronic structure of photocatalytically-active BiZn2VO6 published in the Journal of Solid State Chemistry.
09/14: Paper on Na-doping of SrSiO3 published in Chemistry of Materials.
05/14: Paper on proton tunneling in the short strong hydrogen bond in 35PDCA published in PRL.
06/14: Ivana gave a plenary lecture at the Slovenian - Croatian Crystallographic Meeting (June 2014)
01/14: Beth's paper on the structures and properties of furosemide cocrystals published in Cryst Growth Des
09/13: Paper on the tunable and controlled positive-, zero- and negative thermal expansion in the Zr1–xSnxMo2O8 materials published in JACS
08/13: Ivana gave a talk in the Energy Materials symposium at the European Crystallographic Meeting ECM28 (25-29 August 2013)
07/13: Paper on the mechanism of oxide ion conductivity in Bi28Re2O49 published in Solid State Ionics
08/13: Sam's paper on the structure and dynamics of the short hydrogen bond in the 3,5-dinitrobenzoic acid–nicotinic acid molecular complex published in CrystEngComm
07/13: Julia's paper on the local and average structure of Nd2Zr2O7 has been published in the Journal of Solid State Chemistry
07/13: Welcome to Dr. Sayonara Eliziario Nunes, post-doctoral research associate joining us from Brazil
04/13: Ivana gave talks at the Guilin University of Technology and at the University of Science and Technology Beijing, China