Preparation of functional nanocomposite particles using controlled radical polymerisation
Nano-structured composites that combine organic and inorganic materials have the potential to display multi-functional properties which can be tailored towards applications in various fields of materials science, as well as optics, catalysis, microelectronics, coatings, biology and medicines. By combining the versatility of colloid science and controlled radical polymerisation this project will investigate the efficient synthesis of colloidal nanocomposite particles/materials with controllable composition, size, shape, surface properties and functionality.
This research programme will be focussed on the fundamental and practical aspects involved in the synthesis and characterisation of organic/inorganic colloidal particles via simultaneous or sequential reaction of organic and inorganic precursors in dispersed (aqueous) media.
During the project, you will gain hands-on experience of synthetic polymer chemistry and materials characterisation using a broad range of techniques such as dynamic light scattering, electron microscopy, disc centrifuge photosedimentometry, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, rheometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, aqueous electrophoresis and small angle X-ray scattering. This project will suit an applicant with some experience of polymers and/or chemistry who would like to apply their skills to materials engineering challenges with potential industrial relevance
Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree/Masters in discipline relevant to Materials Chemistry.
Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of at least the Research Council minimum (currently £14,057) for eligible UK and EU applicants. EU nationals must have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the programme to be eligible for a full award (fees and stipend). Other EU nationals may be eligible for a fees-only award.