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Programmable Self-Assembly of Colloidal Matter

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 31, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

A PhD place is available on a project themed on programmable self-assembly of colloidal matter starting from the 2019-20 academic year with Dr Dwaipayan Chakrabarti in the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham.


Dr Dwaipayan Chakrabarti, School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham

Project description:

Self-assembly of colloidal particles can be programmed to yield desired structures because of the scope for tuning the interparticle interactions. This bottom-up strategy has received a great boost from an unprecedented growth in the synthesis of microparticles over the last decade, offering an exotic variety of colloidal building blocks different in terms of shape, composition, pattern, and functionality. However, design rules for engineering colloidal self-assembly into target structures are rather limited. The key is to understand the interplay of interactions in operation so as to manipulate them to ensure that the target structure is not only thermodynamically favourable but also kinetically accessible. To this end, the successful applicant will develop, adapt, and apply computational methods, largely underpinned by the theory of statistical mechanics and energy landscape framework, to study systems of interest in close connection with contemporary experimental research. For example, the specific system may involve patchy colloids, DNA-coated colloids, active colloids or nematic colloids.

The overarching theme of the Chakrabarti group’s research is in silico design of soft materials, including biomaterials, to inform fabrication of functional architectures as well as formulation of consumer products. The study of soft matter is central to this research theme. The group is particularly interested in designing novel photonic, porous, responsive and viscoelastic materials. In recent years, the focus has been on programming hierarchical self-assembly, which poses a multiscale design problem.

Person specification:

Applicants must have a Master’s degree in chemistry / physics / materials science / chemical engineering or in a related discipline at the upper second class level, the normal requirement being at least 65% overall degree mark, and an interest in theoretical and computational studies. Programming experience is desirable, but not essential.

How to apply:

For further details on the project and informal enquiry please visit and contact Dr Dwaipayan Chakrabarti at . For general information on Chemistry PhD at the University of Birmingham, please visit

Apply online at

Application deadline:

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Apply by January 31, 2019 to receive full consideration for admission into the PhD programme for the 2019-20 academic year.

Funding Notes

This PhD studentship may be fully funded for suitable UK/EU students covering tuition fees at the home rate and providing an annual stipend at the standard rate for three years.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 28.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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