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Simulation of chiral viruses

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Background: Concentrated solutions of helical rod-like particles such as polynucleotides and polypeptides are known to form orientationally ordered liquid crystal phases. Common examples are the tobacco mosaic virus and filamentous bacteriophages such as the fd and M13 viruses. Due to the way the self-assembled structure forms, these particles are often chiral, which can lead to chiral liquid crystalline phases in which the direction of alignment twists around a perpendicular axis with a fixed periodicity. This long range periodicity arises from the preferred mutual twist of neighbouring molecules.

Project: We will use Monte Carlo simulation to investigate the correlation between molecular chirality and phase chirality. Simulations will be used to determine the phase behaviour of a well-defined screw-thread model, and how the phase behaviour varies with molecular parameters such as the chirality, length or shape. There will be opportunities for the student to extend the models to a number of other areas of interest in soft matter chemistry / physics.

Research Group: The student will join the Materials Group and also be part of the Computers in Chemistry Group.

All research students follow our innovative Doctoral Training in Chemistry (iDTC): cohort-based training to support the development of scientific, transferable and employability skills. All research students take the core training package which provides both a grounding in the skills required for their research, and transferable skills to enhance employability opportunities following graduation. Core training is progressive and takes place at appropriate points throughout a student’s higher degree programme, with the majority of training taking place in Year 1. In conjunction with the Core training, students, in consultation with their supervisor(s), select training related to the area of their research.

The student should have an interest in computer simulation of condensed matter systems and full training will be given on high performance scientific computing and Monte Carlo simulation techniques for soft matter systems. Opportunities exist to attend courses to further develop their knowledge of soft matter systems. Being part of the larger Materials group at York, the student will attend regular group meetings with other members of staff and students with interest across the soft matter area. Students are expected to present their research findings at conferences and at collaborative visits to other research groups in the UK and abroad.

The Department of Chemistry holds an Athena SWAN Gold Award and is committed to supporting equality and diversity for all staff and students. The Department strives to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. Chemistry at York was the first academic department in the UK to receive the Athena SWAN Gold award, first attained in 2007 and then renewed in October 2010 and in April 2015.

Funding Notes

This project is open to students who can fund their own studies or who have been awarded a scholarship separate from this project. The Chemistry Department at York is pleased to offer Wild Fund Scholarships to those from countries outside the UK. Wild Fund Scholarships offer up to full tuition fees for those from countries from outside the European Union. EU students may also be offered £6,000 per year towards living costs. For further information see: View Website

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of York in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 47.06

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

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