Inorganic and Materials Chemistry PhD/MPhil/MRes


Fact file

PhD/MPhil Inorganic and Materials Chemistry
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in an MSci/MChem (2:2 for MRes)
6.0 (5.5) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
University Park
Inorganic and Materials Chemistry
Other requirements
2:1 (or intyernational equivalent) in an MSci/MChem.

Research overview

Research in inorganic chemistry at Nottingham is very wide-ranging and interdisciplinary with many national, European and international collaborations. Research interests encompass a diverse range of interests which interface with physics, biology, pharmacy, materials and computational science and chemical engineering. The common feature of inorganic chemistry at Nottingham is the use, study and understanding of novel molecular interactions or unusual synthetic or engineering procedures to yield new compounds, properties, catalysis and function. 

Coordination, organometallic and supramolecular chemistry

  • Synthesis of transition metal and f-element complexes and complexes that challenge the traditional views of bonding and reactivity
  • Small molecule activation and homogeneous catalysis by organometallic complexes
  • Single isomer chiral metal complex chemistry
  • Surface, solution and solid-state supramolecular self-assembly, including crystal engineering
  • Photochemistry and time-resolved spectroscopy to probe both excited states and reaction mechanisms

Biological Inorganic Chemistry

  • Chemistry of the catalysis accomplished by metal centres in enzymes, especially in oxygen atom transfer at Mo or W and activity that requires a metal and a phenoxyl radical
  • Coordination complexes as mimics for NiFe hydrogenase and catalytic hydrogen/proton interconversion for fuel cells
  • Complementary spectroscopic and theoretical techniques to probe the electronic structure of transition metal complexes and metalloenzyme active sites
  • Metal intercalators as IR probes of DNA damage, sensors of biological molecules and models of water splitting by photosystem II.

Nanomaterials, Solid State and Polymer Chemistry

  • Synthesis, processing and characterisation of carbon nanotubes and fullerenes
  • Nanostructure formation via self-assembly of molecular hosts: molecular entrapment and organisation on surfaces
  • Nanomaterials and light framework polymers for gas (hydrogen, methane, VOC) storage, absorption and extraction
  • Polymer synthesis and processing using supercritical carbon dioxide: from drug delivery devices, tissue engineering scaffolds, unique polymer blends and photonic materials
  • Synthesis of new magnetic oxides and ionic conducting materials with tailored structures

Green and Analytical Chemistry and Clean Technology

  • Cleaner reaction chemistry in supercritical water
  • Continuous reactions in supercritical CO2 from lab-scale to  commercial plant
  • UHV spectroscopic techniques for the characterisation and in-situ monitoring of catalytic processes in ionic liquids
  • Solution XPS to measure controlled changes in physical properties for sensor and imaging application

Structural Chemistry

  • Single crystal X-ray diffraction and structural studies at low temperature, high pressure; experimental charge density studies. 

Entry requirements

The usual minimum requirement for PhD/MPhil entry is an upper 2nd class or first class honours degree (or International equivalent) in an MSci or MChem degree in chemistry.

The usual minimum requirement for MRes entry is a lower 2nd class honours degree (or International equivalent) in chemistry.

International research students need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each element.

The University runs a number of preparatory English programmes each summer and, for extra support during your degree, you can attend its free language classes. For more information, visit our Centre for English Language Education (CELE).



  • £1.5m Centre for Mass Spectrometry
  • Computational modelling with an ultra high powered GRID
  • Fluorometers and ToF SIMS
  • FTIR
  • Full range of workshop facilities
  • High-field nmr
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Powder X-ray diffractometers
  • Single crystal CCD
  • Solid-state nmr
  • SQUID magnetometer
  • State-of-the-art XPS
  • UHV and surface equipment
  • UV/VIS/Raman
  • World-class laser facilities
  • From UV to IR, with timescales from picoseconds to CW

Research support

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond.

The Students' Union are a particularly important source of support. 


Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. Details of research supervisors at the University can be found on our research A to Z.



UK/EU students

The University Graduate School operates two schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research. The Graduate School Travel Prize and Universitas21 funding. The Graduate School also holds a list of other sources of fundingStudentship opportunities are also available.

Government loans for doctoral study

The Government plans to introduce doctoral student loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent research programmes from 2018. Applicants must ordinarily live in England and more details are expected to be announced in due course.

Doctoral training programmes

Linked to research councils, doctoral training programmes offer funding opportunities connected to our research priorities.

International and EU students

Research scholarships are available for outstanding international and EU students. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



Visit the school page for additional opportunities  

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 100% of postgraduates in the School of Chemistry who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary for postgraduates from the Faculty of Science was £29,024 with the highest being £67,000*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates, 2014/15.

Career Prospects and Employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.  

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.  

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research..


Related courses

No related courses

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Professor Neil Champness
Professor of Chemical Nanoscience & Head of Inorganic and Materials Chemistry
School of Chemistry
The University of Nottingham
University Park

Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
f: +44 (0) 115 951 5812
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry