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Mercator Fellow

      Source: University of St Andrews


      In 2018, Prof Russell Edward Morris takes up the Mercator visiting professorship within the SPP 1708.

      The scientist from the University of St Andrews is available for advice to the members of the priority programme in his function as Mercator-Fellow during his two stays in Germany. Thus, he will play an active part in the sub-projects as well as enable an intensive exchange between the researchers.

      The ionothermal method for the preparation and processing, originally developed by Prof Russell Morris, is widely viewed as a ground-breaking and world-leading advance in the field. The primary concept, first published in Nature in 2004, is the use of ionic liquids as both solvent and structure directing agent in the formation of unusual materials with unique structure and function. Originally designed for the synthesis of porous solids, Prof Morris has extended the technique to almost all types of inorganic, organic and hybrid materials. The ionothermal method exhibits many unique features, such as the use of ambient pressure solvothermal conditions, the controlled delivery of structure directing agents, anion control (and the exquisite control over water as a mineraliser it allows) and effective chiral induction etc, which have enabled the synthesis of many new materials that cannot be accessed using other routes. An outstanding extension of this work is the use of ionothermal synthesis to produce a whole new class of quantum spin liquid, which is of great interest to the condensed matter physics community for their potential in quantum computing.
      Prof Morris pioneering work on ionothermal chemistry has stimulated a whole new field that is followed, elaborated and broadened by many research groups a round the world – like those assembled in the SPP 1708. An exchange of ideas with an internationally renowned scientist in this field is highly appreciated and provides the opportunity to intensify existing collaborations or to create new ones.

      Prof Morris published already more than 200 scientific publications on his key research areas materials synthesis, ionothermal materials chemistry, chiral induction and quantum spin liquids, metal-organic framework (MOF) chemistry and so on.

      With its module “Mercator Fellows” the DFG enables projects to pursue an intensive and long-term exchange with researchers in Germany and abroad. Fellows will partially be on site but will remain in contact with project participants even after their stay. It is a way of bringing additional expertise to the project or into the network and increasing its visibility.








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