Self-healing organic semiconductors for bionic skin
A fully funded 3-year PhD studentship is available at UCL Chemistry to work on an interdisciplinary project in the group of Dr Bob C. Schroeder as part of a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship project.
Subject areas: Heterocyclic chemistry, organic semiconductor, conjugated polymer, wearable electronics, self-healing polymer, bionic skin.
Material degradation is a primary concern to every material scientist and engineer, not only does degradation lead to failure, but results in the need for repair – a very costly endeavour. In this perspective, it is of interest to develop self-healing materials that will make maintenance redundant. As opposed to inorganic semiconductors, organic semiconducting materials are soft, which makes them ideal to be used in flexible and stretchable electronic devices, which can be directly applied to the human skin. Wearable electronics, however, are particularly prone to mechanical damage and fatigue, which is why it is paramount to develop more robust materials, like self-healable semiconductors. The proposed project will focus on the design of self-healing semiconducting polymers and their integration into robust, lightweight wearable electronics and sensors directly applied to the human skin. This will make it possible to continuously monitor medically relevant body functions and present a significant step forward in the development of affordable biological sensors and continuous patient monitoring, ultimately enhancing medical diagnostics and opening-up new treatment possibilities.
Please visit our group website for more details about our research: www.schroedergroup.org
The applicants should have, or expect to gain, at least 2.1 honours or equivalent at Bachelor’s or Master’s level in Chemistry, or a related discipline. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject and the ability to think analytically and creatively. An enquiring and rigorous approach to research as well as excellent team-working, observational and communication skills (both presentation and writing skills in English) are also essential. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment would be highly desirable but not essential, as training will be provided. UCL offers a world-leading scientific environment in the heart of London.
Applicants should send their applications (motivation letter, CV and contact info for two referees) by email to Dr Schroeder ([Email Address Removed]), who may also be approached for informal enquiries.
Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac ([Email Address Removed]).
Due to funding restrictions, only UK/EU students who meet the three years residency criteria are eligible for this studentship. The start date for the PhD is the 28th September 2020. The deadline for applications is 31st March 2020, with interviews to be held in April, but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.