PhD studentship in materials/interface science: development and improvement of functional ultrathin organic films and of surface analytical techniques

Website University of St Andrews School of Chemistry

About the Project
Research in the Haehner group encompasses both fundamental studies and the engineering of specific surface/interface properties. One part of our research program is the development and improvement of surface analytical techniques, which are capable of analyzing interfaces in situ, i.e., in the ‘natural environment’ of the system under investigation and without destroying them. This is often a liquid in the case of ‘biological’ systems, for example when studying properties of proteins [1], and exploring the role of the fluid in interfacial processes, the determination of fluid properties on the (sub)micron scale and the characterization of microcantilever sensors is an important aspect of our research [2-4]. Another part of our research program is the tailoring of interfacial properties by utilizing specifically synthesized (functionalized) molecules (in collaboration with organic chemists). Such molecules allow the preparation of concentrated planes of functionality on inorganic substrates. We are working towards creating functional surfaces on SiOx substrates as for example relevant for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) [5-9]. Many of our experimental projects are supported by computational modelling.

The student will learn aspects of surface/interface science, materials science, chemical physics/physical chemistry and surface analytical characterization techniques. The project will involve a wide range of techniques including scanning probe microscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, ellipsometry and contact angle measurements as well as some modelling.

Funding Notes
Students interested in undertaking a PhD in this research area should register their interest as soon as possible. Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Georg Haehner (gh23@st-andrews.ac.uk)

Please see: View Website for the application procedure or e-mail chempg@st-andrews.ac.uk for more information regarding PhD opportunities at St Andrews. We encourage applications for the EaSiCAT Centre for Doctoral training (View Website) and from Chinese nationals through the St Andrews CSC Scheme (View Website). There are opportunities for self-funded PhD students to make use of the St Andrews Handsel Scheme to fund the difference between home and international fees.

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University of St Andrews School of Chemistry