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Polymer thin film preparation and optical modelling for infrared reflectometry, AFM-IR and infrared ellipsometry


   Department of Materials

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The Edmondson research group is based in the Department of Materials at The University of Manchester. Our research sits at the interface of polymer chemistry and polymer characterisation, with particular expertise in: the synthesis and characterisation of polymer coatings and thin films; controlled radical polymerisation by ATRP and similar techniques; novel polymers and formulations for 3D printing; chemical modification of 2D materials such as graphene for applications in composites and coatings.

Projects in our group use range of characterisation techniques, which typically include infrared spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), AFM-IR, electron microscopy, light scattering, ellipsometry, DSC, DMTA and mechanical testing. We are also interested in developing new data processing and modelling techniques for polymer and thin film analysis.

For this project, we are particularly seeking to recruit students with an interest in the modelling and measurement of polymer thin film optical properties in the infrared region. The project will consist of some thin film optical theory, some model coding in python, some “wet chemistry” laboratory work in preparing thin films and some optical measurements using techniques such as AFM-IR and infrared ellipsometry. The balance of these topics can be adjusted to suit the student’s skills and interests.

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in chemistry, material science, materials engineering, physics or related subjects and be interested in a project which combines thin film optical theory and modelling (including python coding) with some practical “wet chemistry” laboratory work in polymer film preparation and measurement. 

Self-funded students, or students who have already secured sponsorship, are welcome to apply for PhD positions in our group at any time and should initially make an informal enquiry via email to 


Funding Notes

This project is open to self-funded students only.

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