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Explosives Detection using Nanotechnology

Project Description

The Centre for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE) draws together expertise from Chemistry and Physics in a combined facility. COPE has more than 25 senior research staff, postdoctoral fellows and research students and is housed in laboratories that include state-of-the-art synthesis and materials characterisation facilities; a Class 1000 clean room incorporating gloveboxes with integral evaporators for device fabrication; and prototype measurement capability. COPE is located within the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB) and the School of Mathematics and Physics. The Centre has extensive experimental and computational research programs in optoelectronic organic materials for organic photovoltaics, organic light emitting diodes, and organic chemosensors. The PhD position is directly associated with the organic chemosensors program.

Vapour phase sensing of hazardous substances is the “Holy Grail” of detection methods as it enables standoff detection, reducing the threat to the operator. However, many hazardous substances have low saturated vapour pressures (e.g., explosives) with in field (open air) concentrations being significantly less. The ability to preconcentrate analytes and then release them in a concentrated burst for detection is an important pathway to enablement of vapour phase detection in real world applications. What is required for a portable detector device is a low power method for pre-concentrator materials to absorb and then release the analyte.
We offer an opportunity for an outstanding PhD candidate to work on an exciting project that aims to tackle this technological challenge of vapour detection making use of nanotechnology. The project will be undertaken at the Centre for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE) that has existing projects focused on the detection of explosives. The sensors team at COPE offers an ideal combination of experience and facilities for the synthesis, characterisation, testing and commercialisation of sensing solutions. The successful student will work on a challenging but rewarding research project under the direct supervision of DECRA recipient Dr Jos Kistemaker, Dr Paul Shaw and ARC Australian Laureate Fellow Professor Paul Burn.

Expressions of Interest are invited from outstanding and enthusiastic graduates with a First-Class Honours, or equivalent qualifications through a relevant Masters degree. Candidates will have a strong background in physical organic chemistry and outstanding hands-on laboratory skills with a preference for some experience in spectroscopy, nanofabrication or film characterisation of organic materials. Research experience in the field of organic chromophores and their photophysical properties is desirable.

Funding Notes

Applicants must fulfil the PhD admission criteria for the University of Queensland, including English language requirements, and demonstrate excellent capacity and potential for research. Demonstration of research ability through publication output in peer reviewed international journals is desirable.
Interested applicants should email a copy of their CV, academic transcripts and proof of English proficiency to .

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