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Nanoscale Physics of Polymer Thin Films and Membranes (3 year PhD studentship)

   School of Physics & Astronomy

  Dr James Sharp  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship (3 years) within the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nottingham. This project is funded by the LeverHulme Trust. The work will predominantly be experimental in nature, but will also involve some simple computer simulations.  

Supervisory Team: Dr. James Sharp and Prof. Mark Fromhold

This project will involve the study of ultrathin films of metals, polymers and polymer nanocomposites with thickness values in the range 10-500nm. We will use measurements of the vibrational response of these samples to probe the mechanical properties, aging and the evolution of stresses under conditions where nanoscale confinement effects are known to have a significant effect upon these properties. We will also use a combination of computer simulations and experiments to study the motion of ultrathin freestanding membranes of different shapes. This will include studies of the chaotic motion of membranes. These simulations will be used to develop classical analogues of chaotic quantum systems.

The School of Physics and Astronomy (SOPA) at the University of Nottingham has state of the art facilities for the preparation and characterisation of ultrathin films. These include access to scanning probe microscopy facilities, thin film polymer and metal deposition facilities and a high precision self-nulling ellipsometer. SOPA also has access to world-leading mechanical and electronic technical facilities that enable us to design and build bespoke equipment and sample cells for studying nanoscale systems.  

We invite applications from candidates with knowledge and / or interest in nanoscale science, soft materials science and the physics of thin films, surfaces and interfaces with a background in the physical sciences or engineering. The ability to program in Python (or Matlab) is a requirement for this project. Programming skills in LabView are desirable, but not essential.


• Due to funding restrictions, the position is only available for home/UK candidates

• Candidates must possess or expect to obtain, a 2:1 or first class degree in an Engineering or Physical Sciences related discipline.

How to apply

Please send a copy of your covering letter, CV and academic transcripts to  .

Enquiries can also be directed to  .

 Closing date:

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until a suitable candidate is appointed.

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