Characterisation of Green Hydrogen Materials Through Fast-field Cycling NMR and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge
April 30, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Fixed-term: The fund
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Characterisation of Green Hydrogen Materials Through Fast-field Cycling NMR

and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for 3.5-year full funded PhD studentship based in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology, University of Cambridge and Johnson Matthey (JM) PLC. Previous projects on NMR relaxometry in collaboration between JM and the Magnetic Resonance Research Centre at the University of Cambridge have demonstrated successful application of NMR relaxation measurements to porous materials of industrial relevance to JM. This proposed project will investigate how the range of low-field magnetic resonance techniques can be expanded, using Fast Field Cycling (FFC) and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR), to understand mass transport in catalyst coated membrane (CCM) materials for electrolytic hydrogen. Effective and reliable characterisation of CCMs is a key challenge in green Hydrogen Technologies.

Project Description

Key questions and priorities that this project will address are:

· How can NMR relaxometry inform our understanding of water environments and dynamics in ionomer membranes?

· How sensitive is the technique to differences in the membrane structure: both in different materials and as a membrane ages/degrades?

· How does the addition of a catalyst layer affect the behaviour of water in the system and the ability of NMR relaxometry to characterise the material?

· What information can EPR provide on the iridium oxide-based catalyst, as a powder, ink formulation and CCM?

· Do these measurements correlate with physical and electrochemical performance or with data from other characterisation techniques?

· Does low-field NMR/EPR offer a practical method for rapid, routine characterisation suitable for at-line quality control in a production environment?

To address these questions, you will work across the range of techniques available in the Magnetic Resonance laboratories in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to spend a proportion of their time (around three months over the duration of the project) at JM sites including both in R&D and manufacturing facilities to gain an understanding of the business and to aid in the transfer of technology and understanding to JM. Strong organisational and communication skills are therefore essential to successful completion of the project.

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual capable of thinking and working independently. Applicants should have or shortly expect to obtain a first or high second-class degree from a UK university, or an equivalent standard (https: // www. qualifications) from an overseas university, in a relevant subject such as Chemistry, Biology, Engineering or a related discipline. This position is open to UK citizens or overseas students who meet the UK residency requirements (https: // www. or are able to augment the funds to cover the extra costs associated with overseas student fees. (Note for Overseas Fee Rate applicants: Unfortunately, there is no additional funding available to cover the difference in Home and Overseas Fee rates.)

Full details of the University's entrance requirements are specified on the following link: https:// www. requirements.


Full funding covering Maintenance and the University Composition Fee at the Home rate is provided for the studentship, with effect from 1st October 2024.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3.5 years in the first instance.

Information on our PhD programme, along with further information on the Department's entry requirements and a link to the on-line application, is available via the University's Course Directory: PhD in Chemical Engineering ' Postgraduate Admissions ( https: // www. gl=1iv0l7c ga MTI0NTUyNzYwNS4xNjY3Mzg1MzA0 ga P8Q1QT5W4KMTY2NzM4NTMwNC4xLjEuMTY2NzM4NTU0NS4wLjAuMA..

To be considered for this studentship, applicants must submit a formal application for admission along with all required supporting documents (please see above link). Applicants must note Prof Lynn Gladden as the prospective supervisor and that you wish to be considered for studentship NQ41030 in the application. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please quote reference NQ41030 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.


Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, West Cambridge






1 March 2024

Closing date

30 April 2024

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