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Funded PhD studentship: Development of small organic Near-Infrared Fluorescent molecules which emit long wavelength with lower energy

Faculty of Life Sciences

Dr Anna Wu , Dr Tom Swift , Dr Sanjit Nayak Friday, April 30, 2021 Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
Bradford United Kingdom Analytical Chemistry Nanotechnology Organic Chemistry

About the Project

Suitably qualified and highly motivated candidates are invited to apply for a fully-funded PhD studentship in the group of Dr. Anna Wu (co-supervised by Dr. Tom Swift and Dr. Sanjit Nayak) at University of Bradford in the area of organic synthesis and catalysis.

Small organic near-infrared (NIR)-fluorophores are highly promising as non-invasive bioimaging probes to undergo deep penetration to tissues with minimal phototoxicity to detect hidden malignancies. The aim of this PhD project is to develop small organic NIR fluorescent molecules which emit long wavelength with lower energy. The project will focus on discovery of new strategies and synthetic reactions of a novel class of activated electron-rich alkynes with Michael acceptors. This will enable the construction of fluorescent molecules in a cascade sequence by forming multiple bonds in a single operation, thereby enabling rapid increases in structural complexity in single step.

These molecules will be applied to fluorescent bio-imaging by collaboration with Dr. Tom Swift, as well as to metal-organic frameworks-based materials by collaborating with Dr. Sanjit Nayak. Training: The student will receive in-depth training in a wide range of synthetic organic and inorganic chemistry, and a diverse array of analytical techniques including NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, IR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, UV/Vis spectroscopy, thermal analyses, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction.

The ideal candidate will hold (or expect to be awarded) a 1st Class or an Upper 2nd Class MSc, MChem or BSc degree and will have significant experience in practical synthetic organic chemistry. The student will be required to undertake complex multistep organic synthesis involving air- and / or moisture-sensitive reagents and unstable synthetic intermediates, and will be expected to possess excellent laboratory skills, good problem-solving abilities and the ability to obtain and interpret spectroscopic data.

Funding Notes

This project has full funding for UK students, which will cover tuition and bench fees, and a stipend for living costs. Non-UK students, including those from EU countries, may be considered but would need to self-fund the difference between UK and International fees.

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