Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

  Topological molecules for semiconducting materials

   School of Chemistry

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr T A Barendt  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Lightweight and flexible, organic semiconducting materials are integral to next-generation electronic devices, including wearable sensors and foldable displays. However, a current challenge is to improve the performance of these materials. The electrical properties are connected to the topology of the molecules in the material. Molecules with unusual topologies include rotaxanes and catenanes, containing the newest bond in chemistry, the mechanical bond. The aim of this project is to use molecular topology to improve the performance of organic semiconductor materials. In this project, the candidate will prepare and analyse new mechanically interlocked molecules in the School of Chemistry. The researcher will develop skills in molecular synthesis, supramolecular chemistry and a variety of industry-standard analytical techniques (e.g. NMR, mass spectrometry, HPLC), including photophysics and electrochemistry. Since this is an interdisciplinary project, the candidate will also receive training in the fabrication of materials and electrical devices in the School of Engineering. The candidate will be supervised, supported and mentored by Dr Tim Barendt at the University of Birmingham. They will join his dynamic and friendly research group in the School of Chemistry: Candidates should be creative, curious and motivated, with an interest in supramolecular chemistry, although no formal experience is required. The project is open to both UK and international (including EU) students. By the start of their appointment, applicants should have obtained a strong Master's degree in Chemistry and not be in possession of a PhD. To apply, please contact Tim using the details below. Also, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Tim for more information using the details below. The School of Chemistry is keen to achieve a gender and diversity balance across the School and welcome applicants from all backgrounds. The School holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognises its work in promoting women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in higher education.

Chemistry (6)

Funding Notes

This project is competition funded in full (fees, stipend, travel) via the Centre for Doctoral Training in Topological Design at the University of Birmingham:


For previous work on our mechanically interlocked molecules, please see: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139, 9026-9037 ( and J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140, 1924-1936 ( For our electronic materials, please see: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2020, 142, 349-364 ( and Chem. Eur. J., 2020, 26, 3744-3748 (

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Chemistry?

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Where will I study?

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.