Project summary:

Heterogeneous single-site catalysts are the latest generation materials enabling to maximize the profit and minimize the waste-related issues during production of important chemicals. Although zeolites have been the key industrial catalysts for several decades, development of their single-site representatives as well as analytical techniques for detailed characterization of their active sites are at the very beginning of their inception. Therefore, screening, optimization and implementation of ex situ and in situ methods allowing to distinguish and comprehensively describe the potential active centers of different confinement and local geometry are in great demand. This is what we would like to explore further together with you, the successful applicant.

This work will focus on establishing diagnostic spectroscopic features of metal centers located in isolated or paired configurations in specific T-sites of a zeolite framework within the pores/cages of defined size. For that, a combination of solid state NMR and FTIR spectroscopies of adsorbed probe molecules will be complemented by structure refinement against diffraction data.

We offer:

  • A 4-years Ph.D. student position starting from October 2023
  • Funding from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports’ ERC_Cz grant
  • Opportunity to gain expertise in multiple synthetic and analytical techniques
  • Work in an international group of scientists across multiple disciplines, collaborations with international partners
  • Participation at international conferences and workshops


  • M.Sc. or equivalent in Chemistry (Beneficial: strong background in Material Science, ideally, zeolites)
  • Ability to communicate within an international team
  • Enthusiasm for research in zeolite chemistry

Five relevant publications of the research group:

  1. “Adsorption and catalytic study of cyclopentyl methyl ether formation: structure-activity interplay in medium-pore zeolites“ Appl. Mater. Tod. 28 (2022) 101505 by K. Gołąbek, M. Shamzhy, M. Kubů, T. Soták, Z. Magyarová, M. Hronec, J. Čejka.
  2. “Total oxidation of toluene and propane over supported Co3O4 catalysts: Effect of structure/acidity of MWW zeolite and cobalt loading” Appl. Mater. Interfaces 13 (2021) 15143 by W. Zhang, Y. Zhou, M. Shamzhy, S. Molitorisová, M. Opanasenko, A. Giroir-Fendler
  3.  “Quantification of Lewis acid sites in 3D and 2D TS-1 zeolites: FTIR spectroscopic study.” Catal. Tod. 345 (2020) 80 by M. Shamzhy, J. Přech, J. Zhang, V. Ruaux, H. El-Siblani, S. Mintova
  4. “Isoreticular UTL-Derived Zeolites as Model Materials for Probing Pore Size-Activity Relationship” ACS Catal. 9 (2019) 5136 by Y. Zhou, S. A. Kadam, M. Shamzhy, J. Čejka, M. Opanasenko
  5. “New trends in tailoring active sites in zeolite-based catalysts” Chem. Soc. Rev., 48 (2019) 1095 by M. Shamzhy, M. Opanasenko, P. Concepción and Agustín Martínez

Deadline for application: March 13, 2023

Research group

Heterogeneous catalysis and advanced materials: website

Research group leader

Prof. Jiří Čejka: jiri.cejka@natur.cuni.cz

Project supervisor

Mariya Shamzhy, PhD: mariya.shamzhy@natur.cuni.cz

Apply to the project