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A 3-year PhD studentship in Electronic Structure & Degradation of Hybrid Perovskites


Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Material Science, UCL

Saturday, July 31, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
London United Kingdom Inorganic Chemistry Chemistry Materials Science Physical Chemistry

About the Project

The Studentship

This position is fully funded by the UCL-A*STAR Collaborative Programme via the Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science (M3S CDT) at UCL. The student will be registered for a PhD at UCL where he/she will spend year 1 and the first six months of year 4. The second and third years of the PhD will be spent at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore. The Studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend about £17285 (tax free) pro rata in years 1 and 4. During years 2 and 3, the student will receive a full stipend directly from A*STAR. In addition, A*STAR will provide the student with one-off relocation allowance. 

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship only opens to UK nationals, EU nationals with settled/pre-settled status. Please note that we are currently seeking clarity from the Department for Education on how EU students with pre-settled and settled status will be considered in terms of fee status as the studentship only covers home fees.

Start Date: 27 September 2021

Location: London (1.5 years), Singapore (2 years)

The Project

Over the past few years a dramatic rise in photovoltaic efficiency (>20%) has been achieved by replacing dye molecules with hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites such as CH3NH3PbI3 (MAPI). Hybrid perovskites are characterised by high carrier lifetimes and a high tolerance of defects, but there is an incomplete understanding of this behaviour. The primary aim of this project is to measure the electronic structure of a single crystalline thin film of MAPI using angle resolved photoemission. This will be carried out at A*Star after the optimum growth method of the film has been identified at UCL. This will involve growth in ultrahigh vacuum using scanning tunnelling microscopy to identify the structure at the atomic level. The secondary aim of the project is associated with the degradation of MAPI by water vapour. A possible route to chemical stabilisation is to use the carrier collector as a passivating layer. For instance TiO2 is chemically inert, and recent calculations predict a promising matched interface with MAPI3. These studies will be pursued at A*Star with XPS, UPS and scanning probe measurements.

The Candidate

The successful applicant should have or expect to achieve a 1st or 2:1 class integrated Masters degree (MEng, MSci, MChem etc.) or equivalent in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, good experimental practice and the ability to think analytically and creatively. Good computer skills, plus good presentation and writing skills in English, are required. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is highly desirable but not necessary as training will be provided.

Please contact Prof Thornton () or Dr PAN Jisheng () for further details or to express an interest.

Applications will be accepted until 31 July 2021 but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified.


Funding Notes

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship only opens to UK nationals, EU nationals with settled/pre-settled status. Please note that we are currently seeking clarity from the Department for Education on how EU students with pre-settled and settled status will be considered in terms of fee status as the studentship only covers home fees.

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