Postgraduate research opportunities

Multicomponent materials under extreme conditions

Materials & Manufacture. High-pressure; co-crystals; polymorphism, diffraction, spectroscopy

Number of places



4 March 2020


36 Months


Degree in the chemical sciences, some experience of X-ray diffraction or spectroscopy

Project Details

Pressure is a valuable tool in the assessment of the solid-state forms of organic materials. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that pressure can enable the isolation of new solid-state forms of pharmaceuticals,1–3 amino acids,4,5 energetic materials6,7 as well as other types such as metal-organic framework materials8. This project is aligned to the EPSRC funded ‘Pressure-Induced Nucleation for the Continuous Manufacture of supramolecular assemblies’ where pressure is used to isolate new multi-component materials for use as seeds in ambient pressure crystallisations9–11. We have successfully demonstrated that scale-up and quenching of high-pressure phases can be achieved and are now at the stage in our work to assess the viability of this procedure to multi-component systems. This PhD program will investigate the discovery and recovery of novel solid-state forms of pharmaceutically relevant materials so that their physicochemical properties can be assessed at ambient pressure.  The program will be based around crystallisation methodologies and the characterisation of these materials through the use of multiple techniques.


This work is aligned to the EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hub Centre for Manufacture and Advanced Crystallisation located at the University of Strathclyde. PhD candidates will have access to state-of-the-art equipment for analysis during their PhD studies as well as access to programs for their own personal development


Techniques used:


High-pressure; X-ray and neutron diffraction (Single crystal and powder); IR & Raman spectroscopy, thermal analysis

Funding Details

Applicant will need to self-fund, find sponsorship for tuition and bench fees of £10,000 per annum for duration of studies


Primary Supervisor: Iain D H Oswald


Further information

1         M. A. Neumann, J. Van De Streek, F. P. A. Fabbiani, P. Hidber and O. Grassmann, Nat. Commun., 2015, 6, 7793.

2         I. D. H. Oswald, A. R. Lennie, C. R. Pulham and K. Shankland, CrystEngComm, 2010, 12, 2533.

3         B. A. Zakharov, Y. V Seryotkin, N. A. Tumanov, D. D. Paliwoda, M. Hanfland, A. V Kurnosov and E. V Boldyreva, RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 92629–92637.

4         S. A. Moggach, W. G. Marshall and S. Parsons, Acta Crystallogr. Sect. B Struct. Sci., 2006, 62, 815–825.

5         C. L. Bull, G. Flowitt-Hill, S. de Gironcoli, E. Küçükbenli, S. Parsons, C. H. Pham, H. Y. Playford and M. G. Tucker, IUCrJ, 2017, 4, 569–574.

6         A. J. Davidson, I. D. H. Oswald, D. J. Francis, A. R. Lennie, W. G. Marshall, D. I. A. Millar, C. R. Pulham, J. E. Warren and A. S. Cumming, CrystEngComm, 2008, 10, 162–165.

7         L. E. Connor, C. A. Morrison, I. D. H. Oswald, C. R. Pulham and M. R. Warren, Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 4872–4878.

8         G. A. Craig, A. Sarkar, C. H. Woodall, M. A. Hay, K. E. R. R. Marriott, K. V Kamenev, S. A. Moggach, E. K. Brechin, S. Parsons, G. Rajaraman and M. Murrie, Chem. Sci., 2018, 9, 1551–1559.

9         A. J. Cruz-Cabeza, R. J. Davey, I. D. H. Oswald, M. R. Ward and I. J. Sugden, CrystEngComm, 2019, 21, 2034–2042.

10       M. R. Ward, S. Younis, A. J. Cruz-Cabeza, C. L. Bull, N. P. Funnell and I. D. H. Oswald, CrystEngComm, 2019, 21, 2058–2066.

11        M. R. Ward and I. D. H. Oswald, CrystEngComm, 2019, 21, 4437–4443

Contact us

Primary Supervisor: Iain D H Oswald


How to apply

Applicants can apply using the University PEGASUS Application System click here