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PhD in Chemistry Evolving Gels

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 01, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The aim of this project is to prepare new types of dynamic soft materials. We will develop new insights into dynamic and evolving self-assembled structures to prepare materials that change in a pre-programmed manner, forming structures with properties that cannot be directly accessed.

Gels are mainly liquid but behave as solids. The solid-like behaviour arises from a network, which immobilises the solvent. The networks can be permanent as in polymer gels. In comparison, supramolecular gels are formed by networks formed by non-covalent interactions; these networks can be readily disassembled, resulting in a return to a solution.

Typically, gels are formed and used with mechanical properties that do not change. However, dynamic systems are increasingly of interest. In dynamic gel systems, a gel is formed on application of an energy input or fuel. When the energy source is turned off or the fuel runs out, the system returns to its original, non-gelled state. Hence, transient gels can be formed which last as long as the fuel or energy inputted. Such gels are interesting, but currently, there are very few applications for such transient gels. This project focusses on dynamic materials which evolve and change with time. We will use the concepts of dynamic and transient systems to design and prepare genuinely useful new materials that are currently not accessible.

The successful applicant will synthesize, self-assemble and characterize the structures formed from new gelator molecules. The project will provide experience of and training in synthesis, and a range of techniques including microscopy, rheology, electrochemistry, spectroscopy, and small angle scattering. A key part of the role will be to study the supramolecular structures formed.

Eligibility: Applications are encouraged from highly motivated candidates who have, or expect to have, at least a 2:1 degree or equivalent in Chemistry or a closely related subject.

How to Apply: Please refer to the following website for details on how to apply:

It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.

We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equality.

As an Athena SWAN Bronze Award holder, the School of Chemistry has equality, diversity and inclusion at its heart, and actively supports applications from all sections of society.

More details of the School’s Athena SWAN activities can be found here:

Funding Notes

Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK and EU applicants, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (estimated £15,245 for Session 2020-21).

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