Structural Chemistry

Master's Degree Programme, 2 years, Trondheim

Structural Chemistry

– Specialization

In inorganic Structural Chemistry, we study the structure of advanced materials and their many interesting applications for important processes in today's society.

At the Department of Chemistry we have focused our activities within what is commonly referred to as Materials Science, and relevant topics for a master thesis are structural studies of advanced functional materials. This means that we produce new materials such as the super-hydrophobic aerogels, currently used in space suits, or hierarchical zeotypes with mesopores functioning as super highways to transport gas molecules to micro-reactors inside the material.  The structures of these materials give them unique properties as molecular sieves with functional surface or metal sites interesting for catalytic processes. We are currently studying new materials for catalytic conversion of diesel exhaust such as copper aerogels, and the use of bimetallic copper and gold nanoparticles in hierarchical zeotypes for the industrial process of selectively oxidization of propene.

Our goal is to develop synthesis routes for new exciting materials and then characterize these systems to obtain a fundamental understanding of the structure, and then explore their behavior during realistic working conditions. The materials are therefore characterized using a range of techniques, which you will be trained in. Our research lab houses an FT-IR coupled to a GC-MS and a catalysis rig for fundamental studies of these materials.  

Our group is experienced in X-ray absorption spectroscopy, a technique which requires synchrotron radiation. We frequently travel to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble – an international state of the art research facility supported and shared by 18 countries. Synchrotron techniques represent an important tool-kit for studying nanoparticles and functional materials under operating conditions and the techniques available at the Swiss - Norwegian beamlines (SNBL) at ESRF are crucial for our projects. You will find more information about the research within the field of structural chemistry here.

Previous MSc candidates in this group often continue with research at Universities or Institutes such as SINTEF, or start working in industries such as Life Technologies, Reinertsen, Statoil and GE Healtcare.

My master

Structural chemistry

My master

Simeon Kristoffersen - master student in structural chemistry

Supervisor: Associate professor Karina Mathisen

I originally started studying to become a teacher in a 5-year integrated master course, but realized that what I really wanted was more chemistry and more laboratory work. In my master’s thesis I work with developing entirely new types of nanocatalyst material based of silica aerogels, one of the world’s most porous solids. I am trying to make materials that no one has made before, and I think that’s pretty cool.