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PhD in Chemistry: Supramolecular Control of Triplet-forming Photosensitizers

   Cardiff School of Chemistry

  Dr Y Wu  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Dr Yi-Lin Wu is looking for enthusiastic and highly motivated PhD students to work on the research project “Supramolecular Control of Triplet-forming Photosensitizers.” The project involves the design of triplet-forming organic chromophores and the investigation of their photo-induced properties modulated by non-covalent interactions.

Driven by the ever-increasing demands for sustainable chemistry and the interest in solar energy conversion, the Wu group is particularly interested in visible light-absorbing materials with long excited-state lifetimes. Their ability to store photo-energies over hundreds of microseconds will enable various chemical and optoelectronic applications, such as photocatalysis, photodynamic therapy, pollutant degradation, bio-imaging, and electronic display.

It is often overlooked that the photoexcited chromophores are constantly yet dynamically surrounded by other molecules during the entire energy and chemical transformation process. These “spectators” can be another chromophore, energy/electron acceptors, solvents, or salt additives. The subtle and non-covalent interactions between these molecules influence the structure and excited-state dynamics of photoexcited chromophores, which in turn affect the efficiency and selectivity of the photo transformation. Exquisite supramolecular control of these weak and dynamic interactions thus offers a great potential to boost the photochemical efficiency, minimising the need for lengthy covalent structural modification. We will take simultaneously the synthetic, spectroscopic, and computational approaches to control and analyse the structure and environment of the light-absorbing chromophores. A deep understanding of the supramolecular parameters will expand the toolbox for solar-energy utilisation.

The project is of experimental nature and will involve multi-step organic synthesis, spectroscopic characterisation, and theoretical/computational chemistry. Through hands-on working with researchers specialised in EPR, laser and X-ray spectroscopies, the student will also develop the necessary knowledge and skills for efficient collaboration and communication.

Recent publications from the group in this area include Chem. Sci. 2021, 12, 767 and Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2021, 4647.

Academic criteria

Applications are invited from highly motivated candidates with or expecting to receive an upper second class degree (2.1 or better), a master’s degree, or their equivalent in an area relevant to the project, such as synthetic chemistry, photochemistry, and molecular materials science.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent). Learn more about our English language requirements for postgraduate students.

How to Apply

Please contact Dr Yi-Lin Wu () for informal enquiries. Interested applicants are encouraged to email their CV and a brief statement of purpose to Dr Wu. A formal application should be submitted through our website and state the project title and supervisor name.

Start date options are 1st October 2022 or 1st January 2023

We reserve the right to close to this advert if sufficient applications are received. Early application is advised

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive environment for all. We welcome applications from all members of the global community irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.

Funding Notes

This is a 3-year funded PhD with Home tuition fees and UKRI level stipend.
This studentship is open to Home, EU or Overseas Candidates. However, Overseas and EU candidates should note that they will be required to cover the difference between Home and Overseas/EU fees each year.
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