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  Creating Angstrom scale capillaries for studying molecular transport

   Department of Physics and Astronomy

   Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Angstrom-scale pores and capillaries have been studied intensively because of their importance in many natural phenomena and use in numerous applications. Significant progress has been achieved in fabricating artificial capillaries with nanometer dimensions, which led to the emergence of new research areas including nanofluidics. However, it remains extremely challenging to control capillary sizes at angstrom-level spatial scale, especially because of surface roughness. We have developed a novel architecture of capillaries with tunable atomic-scale dimensions and atomically smooth walls. These are ultimately narrow and smooth capillaries that can be viewed as if individual atomic planes were removed from a bulk crystal, leaving behind flat voids of a chosen height. The capillaries are fabricated by van der Waals assembly of atomically flat materials using two-dimensional crystals as spacers in between. The PhD project involves evolving novel and unconventional methods for making precise angstrom capillaries using 2D materials, and exploring molecular separation through them.

Housed within the world-leading condensed matter physics group and National Graphene Institute, our group focuses on 2D materials and angstrom scale capillaries. We are primarily experimental group with research interests on 2D materials, novel methods of making ultimately thin fluid channels, membranes for molecular, gas and ion separation.

 Further details about the research in group:

Training and research environment:

The student will be trained on capillary device fabrication technology for making variety of 2D-atomic crystals and 2D-capillaries. Through this project, the experimental skill set related to clean room fabrication involving but not limited to e-beam and photolithography, electron microscopy, reaction ion and chemical etching along with electrical measurements will be provided to the student. Some aspect of the work might also involve electrochemical measurements and biomolecule translocation measurements.

Qualifications applicants should have/expect to receive:

The successful candidate will have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class degree or equivalent (e.g. MPhys, MSci, MChem, MEng) in science, engineering (Physical sciences, Materials, Natural sciences). . A minimum of a 2i class UK Masters honours degree or international equivalent is required or a first degree with an additional Master’s degree or international equivalent. Atleast one English language test is a must for international students. Eligibility can be checked via the University Country Specific information page (

Those with experimental skills and enthusiasm for research and innovation are encouraged to apply. Programming skills such as Matlab, labview are desirable.


At Manchester we offer a range of scholarships, studentships and awards at university, faculty and department level, to support both UK and overseas postgraduate researchers. 

For more information, visit our funding page or search our funding database for specific scholarships, studentships and awards you may be eligible for. 

Before you apply 

Informal enquiries should be directed to Prof Radha Boya with CV. Please specify why you would like to particularly apply for this position, and how you would be suitable. Please send only one PDF file which has the all the relevant information, and keep the file size small to avoid bouncing from the server.

Contact for further information:

Main Supervisor: Prof Radha Boya


How to apply 

To be considered for this project you’ll need to complete a formal application through our online application portal

When applying, you’ll need to specify the full name of this project, the name of your supervisor, how you’re planning on funding your research, details of your previous study, and names and contact details of two referees

Your application will not be processed without all of the required documents submitted at the time of application, and we cannot accept responsibility for late or missed deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  

If you have any questions about making an application, please contact our admissions team by emailing

Equality, diversity and inclusion 

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact.

We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status. 

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder). 

Chemistry (6) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

The project is funded for 3.5 years. The annual stipend is expected to be £14777. Students of all nationalities are encouraged to apply. Self-funded international applicants will also be considered.

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