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PhD in Chemistry: Flexible thin films for wearable electrochromic displays

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

We need to replace metals used in our high-end technologies with organic alternatives in order to create a more sustainable future. Additionally, less expensive alternatives are required to make such new technologies more widely available to everyone. This project aims to address these issues by using inexpensive organic alternatives for optoelectronics. The research will involve the design, synthesis and preparation of thin films that are conductive and electrochromic that can be worn on the skin for technologies such as displays and sensors. These materials will be designed and prepared from small organic molecules that self-assemble into extended networks that will be used to make these conductive and functional materials. The small molecules will then be combined with flexible materials to produce a flexible functional thin film materials. Full analysis and testing of the materials will be carried out to ensure the materials are suitable for such applications. Our materials will transform healthcare technologies that currently use rigid expensive materials by replacing them with flexible, thin displays that can be worn directly on the skin. These could be used for example to monitor and display blood oxygen content, glucose levels and heart rate on patients in hospitals without invasive and restrictive wires, monitors and needles.

From previous work and our close relationship with industry we see there is need for flexible thin film materials, or something that can be placed in between two flexible substrates that can change colour from transparent to coloured with a small working voltage. This would enable the materials be used as coating on existing windows, or on flexible displays on wearable displays, such as healthcare technologies. Both technologies would be based on using an electrochromically active, self-assembling organic small molecules and co-assembling into a polymer network made from hyaluronic acid and drying them to form a flexible thin film. By combining the properties of both of these materials, we will be able to prepare the required flexible electrochromic materials.

I am looking for a motivated candidate with broad scientific interests to join the Draper Group. Experience working in a lab environment is preferred but not essential. Candidates should hold (or expect to hold by the start date) a 1st or upper 2nd class MSc / MChem / BSc or equivalent in a relevant discipline (chemistry, materials, etc.)

Expressions of interest should be made via email to with a copy of your CV (max 2 pages) and cover letter explaining why they want to work in the Draper Group at the University of Glasgow.

Funding Notes

Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK/EU applicants, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (estimated £14,999 for Session 2019/20).

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