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  Shape dependent catalytic active matter and applications

   Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry

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  Dr Juliane Simmchen  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Colloids come in a wide variety of architectural designs and shapes and are traditionally employed in a wide range of applications from paints, stabilizers in emulsions and dispersions, structure directing agents to sensor components. Rod-shaped micro particles in particular exhibit numerous unique behaviors based on their structural characteristics, which makes this geometry very popular in biological contexts.

Given that in many synthetic approaches, the spherical geometry is more favored, rod-shaped colloids are currently merely filling a niche.[1] This project aims at introducing activity by photocatalytic reactions and observing bioanalogous (collective) behaviours. [2]

You will use rod-shaped colloids as core material and develop different activation strategies. After observing how individual rods behave, you will look at pair interactions and collectives and compare our findings to relevant biological systems. Furthermore, you will identify application opportunities and engineer the system towards their future use. 

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Engineering (12)


[1] Wittmann, M., Henze, K., Yan, K. et al. Rod-shaped microparticles — an overview of synthesis and properties. Colloid Polym Sci (2023).
[2] Nsamela, A., Garcia Zintzun, A. I., Montenegro-Johnson, T. D., Simmchen, J., Colloidal Active Matter Mimics the Behavior of Biological Microorganisms—An Overview. Small 2023, 19, 2202685.

Where will I study?

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 About the Project