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Photomolecular motors and rotors (MEECHS2U19SF) 

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  • Full or part time
    Prof S Meech
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

It has long been a dream of chemists to develop molecular machines. While functional machines may be a few years in the future it is already clear they will need a power source. The obvious and free source of energy is light, so synthetic chemists have synthesised numerous molecules which convert light into molecular motion – molecular rotors. In some cases the molecules have been designed to rotate exclusively in one direct – molecular motors. To optimise conversion of absorbed light to motion requires a deep understanding of excited state behaviour. We have developed tools to monitor the ultrafast excited state motions so as to provide structural information. In this PhD project we will apply these methods to a series of synthetic motors.

Applications are processed as soon as they are received and the project may be filled before the closing date, so early application is encouraged.

Project Start Date: Oct 2019
Mode of Study: Full-time
Acceptable First Degree: Chemistry, Physics
Minimum Entry Requirements: UK 2:1

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources.  Details of tuition fees can be found at  
A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research.  The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project. 


i) C R. Hall, W. R. Browne, B L. Feringa and S. R. Meech ‘Mapping the Excited State Potential Energy Surface of a Photomolecular Motor’ Angewante Chemie. Int. Ed. 2018 57, 6203 

ii) J. Conyard, I. A. Heisler, Y. Chan, P. C. B. Page, S. R. Meech and L. Blancafort ‘A New Twist in the Photophysics of the GFP Chromophore: A Volume-Conserving Molecular Torsion Couple’  Chemical Science 2018, 9, 1803 

iii) C. R. Hall, J. Conyard, I. A. Heisler, G. Jones, J. Frost, W. R. Browne, B. L. Feringa and S. R. Meech ‘Ultrafast Dynamics In Photomolecular Rotors Probed By Femtosecond Stimulated Raman Scattering’ J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139, 7408

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