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PhD studentship in materials/interface science: development and improvement of ultrathin organic films and surface analytical techniques

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Research in the Haehner group encompasses both fundamental studies and the engineering of specific surface/interface properties. One part of our research program is the development and improvement of surface analytical techniques, which are capable of analyzing interfaces in situ, i.e., in the ‘natural environment’ of the system under investigation and without destroying them. This is most often a liquid in the case of ‘biological’ systems, for example when studying protein adsorption properties, and exploring the role of the fluid in interfacial processes, the determination of fluid properties on the (sub)micron scale and the characterization of microcantilever sensors is an important aspect of our research [1-6].
Another part of our research program is the tailoring of interfacial properties by utilizing specifically synthesized (functionalized) molecules (in collaboration with organic chemists). Such molecules allow the preparation of concentrated planes of functionality on inorganic substrates. We are working towards creating functional surfaces in relation to the adsorption of proteins [7,8] and in connection with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) [9,10].

The student will learn aspects of surface/interface science, materials science, chemical physics/physical chemistry and surface analytical characterization techniques. The project will involve a wide range of techniques including scanning probe microscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, ellipsometry and contact angle measurements.

Funding Notes

Students interested in undertaking a PhD in this research area should register their interest as soon as possible. Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Georg Haehner ()

View Website for the application procedure or e-mail for more information regarding PhD opportunities at St Andrews. We encourage applications from Chinese nationals through the St Andrews CSC Scheme (https://csc.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/) and for the EPSRC CDT in Critical Resource Catalysis (View Website).

References

[1] N. McLoughlin, S. L. Lee, and G. Hähner
"Simultaneous determination of density and viscosity of liquids based on resonance curves of uncalibrated microcantilevers"
Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 184106 (2006)

[2] N. McLoughlin, S. L. Lee, and G. Hähner
"Temperature dependence of viscosity and density of viscous liquids determined from thermal noise spectra of uncalibrated atomic force microscope cantilevers"
Lab Chip 7, 1057 (2007)

[3] J. D. Parkin and G. Hähner
“Mass determination and sensitivity based on resonance frequency changes of the higher flexural modes of cantilever sensors“
Rev. Sci. Instrum. 82, 035108 (2011).

[4] G. Hähner
“Dynnamic spring constants for higher flexural modes of cantilever plates with applications to atomic force microscopy”
Ultramicroscopy 110, 801 (2010)

[5] J. D. Parkin and G. Hähner
“Determination of the spring constants of the higher flexural modes of microcantilever sensors“
Nanotechnology 24, 065704 (2013).

[6] J. D. Parkin and G. Hähner
"Calibration of the torsional and lateral spring constants of cantilever sensors"
Nanotechnology 25(22), 225701 (2014)

[7] N. Bonnet, D. O’Hagan, and G. Hähner
"Ionic strength mediated hydrophobic force switching of CF3-terminated ethylene glycol self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on gold"
Chem. Commun. 47, 5066 (2007)

[8] N. Bonnet, D. O’Hagan, and G. Hähner
"Protein adsorption onto CF3-terminated oligo(ethylene glycol) containing self-assembled monolayers: The influence of ionic strength and electrostatic forces"
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 12, 4367 (2010)

[9] M. Adamkiewicz, T. O’Hara, D. O’Hagan, and G. Hähner
“A vapor phase deposition of self-assembled monolayers: Vinyl-terminated films of volatile silanes on silicon oxide substrates“
Thin Solid Films 520, 6719-6723 (2012).

[10] M. Adamkiewicz, D. O’Hagan, and G. Hähner
"Bis-(trifluoromethyl)methylene Addition to Vinyl-terminated SAMs: A Gas Phase C-C Bond Forming Reaction on a Surface"
Langmuir 30(19), 5422–5428 (2014)

How good is research at University of St Andrews in Chemistry?
(joint submission with University of Edinburgh)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 37.30

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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