Hierarchically Structured Membranes for Environmental Remediation and Catalysis
Full or fees-only awards available to students who pay ‘home rate’ fees
Starting date: October 2017
Please contact Rachel for more information or click here for the job posting.
Porous membranes perform essential functions in a variety of environmental and energy related applications, including mass and gas separation, particulate filtration, water purification, and catalysis. However, the development of membrane technologies requires that the complex relationship between the chemical activity of the membrane material and physical parameters, such as surface area, pore size, connectivity, and morphology, can be both controlled and understood.
The aim of this PhD project is to develop novel organic-inorganic polymer membranes, that exhibit hierarchical porosity across multiple length scales, which leads to their superior performance in the destruction or capture of pollutants. To achieve this, a bottom-up synthetic approach utilising light-responsive templates will be used to adjust size, surface area and connectivity of the membrane pores. This will enable the relationship between the membrane structure and the flow and entrapment of pollutant species within the porous network to be studied directly. The long-term vision is to integrate these materials with fluidic device technology to realise advanced purification systems with in-built capability for remote and automated control. This project will involve synthetic materials chemistry, characterisation (X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, adsorption isotherms, small-angle X-ray/neutron scattering) and membrane fabrication and testing.