University of Sheffield Featured PhD Programmes
Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
University of Hull Featured PhD Programmes

PhD studentship in materials/interface science: development and improvement of ultrathin organic films and surface analytical techniques

School of Chemistry

Dr G Haehner Applications accepted all year round Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Research in the Haehner group encompasses both fundamental studies and the engineering of specific surface/interface properties. One part of our research program is the development and improvement of surface analytical techniques, which are capable of analyzing interfaces in situ, i.e., in the ‘natural environment’ of the system under investigation and without destroying them. This is most often a liquid in the case of ‘biological’ systems, for example when studying protein adsorption properties, and exploring the role of the fluid in interfacial processes, the determination of fluid properties on the (sub)micron scale and the characterization of microcantilever sensors is an important aspect of our research [1-3]. Another part of our research program is the tailoring of interfacial properties by utilizing specifically synthesized (functionalized) molecules (in collaboration with organic chemists). Such molecules allow the preparation of concentrated planes of functionality on inorganic substrates. We are working towards creating functional surfaces on SiOx substrates as for example relevant for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) [4-8].

The student will learn aspects of surface/interface science, materials science, chemical physics/physical chemistry and surface analytical characterization techniques. The project will involve a wide range of techniques including scanning probe microscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, ellipsometry and contact angle measurements as well as some modelling.

Funding Notes

Students interested in undertaking a PhD in this research area should register their interest as soon as possible. Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Georg Haehner ()

Please see: View Website for the application procedure or e-mail for more information regarding PhD opportunities at St Andrews. We encourage applications for the EaSiCAT Centre for Doctoral training (View Website) and from Chinese nationals through the St Andrews CSC Scheme (View Website).


[1] J. D. Parkin and G. Hähner
“Determination of the spring constants of the higher flexural modes of microcantilever sensors“
Nanotechnology 24, 065704 (2013).

[2] J. D. Parkin and G. Hähner
"Calibration of the torsional and lateral spring constants of cantilever sensors"
Nanotechnology 25(22), 225701 (2014)

[3] J. D. Parkin and G. Hähner
“Contact-free experimental determination of the static flexural spring constant of cantilever sensors using a microfluidic force tool”
Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 7, 492–500 (2016)

[4] M. Adamkiewicz, T. O’Hara, D. O’Hagan, and G. Hähner
“A vapor phase deposition of self-assembled monolayers: Vinyl-terminated films of volatile silanes on silicon oxide substrates“
Thin Solid Films 520, 6719-6723 (2012).

[5] M. Adamkiewicz, D. O’Hagan, and G. Hähner
"Bis-(trifluoromethyl)methylene Addition to Vinyl-terminated SAMs: A Gas Phase C-C Bond Forming Reaction on a Surface"
Langmuir 30(19), 5422–5428 (2014)

[6] M. Adamkiewicz, D. O’Hagan, and G. Hähner
"Organic chemistry on surfaces: Direct cyclopropanation by dihalocarbene addition to vinyl terminated self-assembled monolayers (SAMs)"
Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 10, 2897–2902 (2014)

[7] R. Chisholm, J. D. Parkin, A. D. Smith, and G.Hähner
“Isothiourea-Mediated Organocatalytic Michael Addition-Lactonization on a Surface: Modification of SAMs on Silicon Oxide Substrates”
Langmuir 32(13), 3130-3138 (2016)

[8] J. D. Parkin, R. Chisholm, A. B. Frost, R. G. Bailey, A. D. Smith, and G. Hähner
“Direct organocatalytic enantioselective functionalization of SiOx surfaces“
Angew. Chem. 57, 9377-9381 (2018)

[9] E. Makou, R. G. Bailey, H. Johnston, J. D. Parkin, A. N. Hulme, G. Hähner,
and Paul N. Barlow
“Combining SPR with atomic-force microscopy enables single-molecule insights into activation and suppression of the complement cascade“
J. Biol. Chem. 294, 20148-20163 (2019)

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here

The information you submit to University of St Andrews will only be used by them or their data partners to deal with your enquiry, according to their privacy notice. For more information on how we use and store your data, please read our privacy statement.

* required field

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2021
All rights reserved.