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  Role of the interaction between ions and adsorbed dipoles in Hofmeister’s effect and in the charging of hydrophobic surfaces

   School of Engineering and Materials Science

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  Dr RI Slavchov  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Why is the surface of pure water negatively charged? What are the forces that orientate water molecules nearby interfaces? Why some ions adsorb at lipid bilayers and others are repelled? Why water droplets tend to nucleate on cations, and not so much on anions? These fundamental questions are at least in part related to a little investigated force acting on an ion in the vicinity of a surface with adsorbed dipole moment. The problems will be attacked within the framework of the relatively recent macroscopic theory of quadrupolar media and a number of complementary methods.

The project also has an applied side. The work should contribute to a code for simulation of the properties of technologically relevant interfaces with adsorbed surfactants and electrolytes, and to the development of experimental techniques to characterize such surfaces (e.g., based on the Volta potential method).

The ideal candidate
- has physical chemistry / theoretical physics background;
- has knowledge in electrodynamics, electrochemistry (theory of the electric double layer), colloid and interface science (adsorption,
capillarity), and chemical thermodynamics;
- has good skills with mathematical methods in physics and with packages for symbolic computation (Maple, Mathematica);
- has basic programming skills.
Depending on the abilities and the ideas of the candidate, the project might involve the design and the execution of experiments (in which case, experience with Langmuir trough and electrochemical equipment is beneficial) or MD simulations of model interfaces.

J. Chem. Phys. 140 (2014) 164510 and 143 (2015) 154707;
Langmuir 32 (2016) 8858.

QMUL Research Studentship Details
• Available to Home/EU Applicants only.
• Full Time programme only.
• Applicant required to start in 2019.
• The studentship arrangement will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (Currently set as £17,009 in
• The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or
MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
• If English is not your first language then you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum
score of 6 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).
• Please note that this studentship is only available to Home/EU Applicants. (See: for

Supervisor Contact Details
For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Dr Radomir I. Slavchov
E-mail: [Email Address Removed]

Application Method
To apply for this studentship and for entry onto the Materials Science programme (Full Time) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Research degrees in Materials:

Further Guidance:

Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2019 SEMS RIS’ to associate your application with this studentship opportunity.

Deadline for applications: Monday 22nd July 2019.

 About the Project