Cheah Group

Our research focus is on renewable energy conversion by electrochemical activation of small molecules such as H+, CO2, N2, O2 and H2O. We apply a variety of techniques including electrochemical, FTIR, XAS spectroelectrochemistry, DFT and stable isotope labelling to study the mechanisms of water oxidation, proton, CO2, O2 and N2 reduction reactions by molecular catalysts or biological enzymes..

Follow the link to our ongoing research projects here.

Open Scholarship Postdoctoral Position

A two-year scholarship postdoctoral position on mechanistic study of catalytic CO2 reduction is available. Apply before 29th February 2024.

Project description

Despite increasing electrification and the use of renewable hydrogen as alternative fuel, transportation and energy-intensive industrial sectors still require high energy density carbon based liquid fuel for applications where direct electrification is not feasible. Production of renewable fuel by CO2 electrolysis is an attractive pathway for replacement of fossil-based fuels. However, current generation of CO2 electrolysers requires pure CO2 gas as a feedstock to operate, which is a major obstacle for large-scale implementation of CO2 electrolysis for renewable fuel production. One of the key obstacle is that present generation of molecular CO2 reduction catalysts also behave as O2 reduction catalysts. There is very little research on understanding the competition between CO2 and O2 reduction by current generation of CO2 reduction catalysts and to further develop catalysts that are highly specific towards CO2 reduction.

The aim of this project is to conduct fundamental research to understand the competition between CO2 and O2 reduction by molecular iron porphyrin complexes which are well known catalysts for CO2 and O2 reduction. The fundamental insights derived from this project will be the foundation for future research endeavors to develop highly CO2 specific catalysts.

In this project, the applicant will perform IR and UV-vis spectroelectrochemistry (SEC) studies using a newly developed synchronized and rapid data collection method to study the reduction of iron porphyrins both in absence and presence of gaseous substrate (CO2, O2 and CO) at various partial gas pressures.


The applicant must hold a Ph.D. degree or an international equivalent within the field of Electrochemistry, Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry or a related field, or must have submitted their doctoral thesis for assessment in a relevant field prior to the application deadline. Documented experience in molecular electrochemistry or spectroelectrochemistry is required. Experience in porphyrin chemistry or DFT calculations is desirable.

The assessment of applications is based primarily on the applicant's ability to conduct independent research based on scientific skills. Greater importance is attached to the quality of individual scientific work, than to the number of publications. The applicant must be sufficiently fluent in English to understand, discuss and communicate science on a high level.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive, creativity, and independence, how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the group.

Enquiries and application by email to:

Include in your application 2 page CV, publication list, 1 page motivation letter, copy of PhD certificate (if not yet available statement from PhD supervisor on expected completion date), name and contact details of three referee.

Contact us

If you are interested to join the group, do not hesitate to contact us. Applications from students (Masters, PhD etc) and postdocs are always welcome!

Our research is supported by

Last modified: 2023-11-23