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Ultrafast spectroscopy and computational studies of photochemical dynamics

   Department of Chemistry

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  Prof H Fielding  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Supervisors: Professor Helen Fielding and Professor Graham Worth

Start date: 26 September 2022

UCL Chemistry Department is offering a fully-funded studentship to highly motivated candidates to start in September 2022. The students will carry out their doctoral research at UCL.

This 3-year PhD position is available to work with Professor Helen Fielding and Professor Graham Worth to study ultrafast photochemical dynamics.

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second-class Honours degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics or related discipline. We are looking to recruit a highly motivated physical chemist with an excellent background in physical and theoretical chemistry and an interest in spectroscopy and dynamics. Experience in laser spectroscopy and computational chemistry is not a pre-requisite as extensive training will be provided. The project will explore how fluctuating solvent-solute interactions change photochemical pathways and outcomes by comparing the ultrafast, non-adiabatic dynamics of organic molecules in solution with those in the gas-phase. Fundamental processes that will be studied will include some of the following: ultrafast dynamics of bond-dissociation and isomerisation, including ring-opening; the competition between non-radiative and radiative decay pathways; the role of conical intersections between electronic states in determining internal conversion pathways.

The project will involve spectroscopic and computational studies of molecular systems in both the gas-phase and in solution. Such studies will enable us to build a more complete picture of the role of the solvent environment than so far possible. Methods will include molecular beam and liquid microjet time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy as well as quantum chemistry calculations. The project will exploit new state-of-the-art instrumentation in the newly established ESPRC-funded femtosecond laser facility in the UCL Photon Science Hub and the outstanding computational facilities available in the Department and UCL.

Applicants should send their applications (covering letter and CV including contact details for 2 referees) by email to Professor Helen Fielding ([Email Address Removed]) and Professor Graham Worth ([Email Address Removed]).

Please note that a suitable applicant will be required to complete MS Form entitled Application for Research: degree Chemistry programme. In addition, it is essential that suitable applicants complete an electronic application form at (please select Research degree: Chemistry programme) prior to the application deadline and advise their referees to submit their references as soon as they possibly can. All shortlisted applicants will be invited for the interview no more than 4 weeks after the application deadline.

Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac and Holly Ambrose-Wilson at [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Applications are welcome from UK nationals, EU students with settled/pre-settled status and students with indefinite leave to remain or enter. Please note that the studentship only covers home fees. The updated rules for eligibility for home fees for next year are available at View Website. The student stipend will be equal to the national UKRI PhD stipend (annual amount for 2021/2022 £17,631/annum).
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