Tuning to perfection the inorganic building blocks of Metal Organic Framework materials: towards specifically tailored functionalities.

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BCMaterials – Basque Center for Materials, Applications and Nanostructures is a research center included in the BERC’s (Basque Excellence Research Centers) network, devoted to generate knowledge on the new generation of materials, and turning this knowledge into (multi)functional solutions and devices for the benefit of society, is currently calling for a


Master scholarship position


to work on project


Tuning to perfection the inorganic building blocks of Metal Organic Framework materials: towards specifically tailored functionalities.


Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are one of the hottest topics in materials science nowadays. They are formed from two different “blocks” of regular geometries: inorganic clusters and organic linkers. These “pieces” are assembled during the synthesis process to form a porous material that can be understood as a 3D “puzzle”, whose properties depend on the 3D porous architecture, but also, on the intrinsic characteristics of the inorganic and organic building blocks.


However, the number, chemical and geometric diversity of the “inorganic pre-assembled pieces” is quite limited in comparison the organic linkers ones. Therefore, we propose to develop a platform of new inorganic clusters through the decoration of specific positions with functional metal ions that will dote the system with specific magnetics, optic, catalytic or luminescence properties. Afterwards, their posterior assembly in three dimensional extended frameworks will be tackled.


The following techniques, instruments and facilities will be used:


Hydrothermal/solvo-thermal synthesis. Powder and single crystal X-ray diffraction. Infrared Ultraviolet visible and Raman spectroscopy. Nuclear magnetic resonance. Themogravimetric and Difference scanning calorimetry. Electron paramagnetic spectroscopy.


The MOF synthesis and characterization will be performed at BCM and UPV/EHU together with equipment available at the BCM, UPV/EHU and SGIker. Drug adsorption and delivery experiments will be developed at the BCM and UPV/EHU laboratories.


The following tasks will be performed:


  • Synthesis of preassembled zirconium hexanuclear clusters with open metal positions as single crystals.
  • Determining the doping conditions for the open metal positions with anionic (SO4, PO4, AsO4, SeO4) and cationic species (Cu(II), Cr(III), Y(III), Eu(III)).
  • Determination of crystal structure of the doped preassembled cluster through single crystal X-ray diffraction.
  • Full characterization of the doped-Zr hexanuclear clusters (IR, TGA, DSC, BET, NMR, PXRD).
  • Exploring the adsorptive, luminescence or catalytic properties of the supramolecular pre-assembled cluster


BCMaterials offers a scholarship to master students for the master thesis to be done at BCMaterials, for a total amount of 600 EUR per month for up to 5 months, in collaboration with the Metal-organic Materials Group Research Group (), belonging to the Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT/ZTF) at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).


BCMaterials is committed to equality of opportunity and values diversity.


This position is part of the Call for Master Scholarships published on BCMaterials website at https://www.bcmaterials.net/training/master-thesis/ with the reference (2020-29), therefore, the terms and conditions of the call apply. Candidates must meet the general eligibility criteria stated on it, and fill the application form at the end of this page, including their CV, academic records and motivation and reference letters.


Before applying, candidates are encouraged to get in touch with researchers in charge of the project, in order to obtain detailed information about it:


  • Academic Tutor (UPV/EHU): Oscar Castillo (oscar.castillo@ehu.eus)
  • Co-director (BCMaterials): Roberto Fernández de Luis (roberto.fernandez@bcmaterials.net)


All the applicants will be contacted by BCMaterials through a supplied email, as soon as the call is closed.