Functional covalent organic polymers for selective anion capture

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

The focus of the PhD project is on the development of supramolecular anion binding hosts and covalent organic polymers tailored to bind toxic anions with high specificity in water. These materials will be explored as optical sensors for monitoring anionic pollutants in water and as anion-selective adsorbents for water purification applications. To address the key limitation of poor selectivity in existing anion sensors and adsorbent materials, the project aims to design new macrocycles, cages and mechanically interlocked structures as binding units that target a specific toxicant (e.g., arsenate) while minimising interactions with nontoxic anions (e.g., chloride). Synthetic methods will be developed and optimized to incorporate these binding units into polymers to obtain low-cost solid-state sensors and adsorbents. The project will provide significant benefits, such as improving water quality and tackling global environmental challenges.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Dr Xin Wu

School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of organic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, polymer synthesis, and nanotechnology would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 4, 2022. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process