Directed self-assembly for metamaterials: physics and devices: optical and electrical properties of self-assembled metamaterials
This PhD position is part of a major research initiative from the University of Hull to advance directed self-assembly for metamaterials. The project is an active collaboration between the Departments of Physics and Chemistry. The successful candidate will be part of a larger research cluster counting several other PhD students and Post-Doctoral Research Assistant.
Metamaterials are artificial materials whose matter is structured with patterns on a sub-wavelength scale so that they interact with light in specific ways not available to natural materials. Exotic behaviour, such as negative refraction, can therefore be custom designed. This project involves the investigation of the optical and electrical properties of self-assembled metamaterials, whereby the structuring is directed by chemical synthesis (bottom-up) rather than conventional lithographic (top-down) techniques. Thin films of the materials, synthesised in-house by chemists, will self-assemble to form ordered structures. For example, light-emitting materials with chiral centres spontaneously form helical structures whose periodicity can be controlled by processing conditions. The helix has a defined handedness, so that circular polarised light can be emitted. Alternatively the self-assembled structure may control the emission direction or emission spectrum of light. Two different classes of materials will be studied, liquid–crystal polymers and metal organic frameworks.
The fabricated structures will be characterised and tested using a wide range of optical techniques that available within the labs of the nanophotonics group in the department of Physics and Mathematics. In particular reflectivity and transmission spectroscopy will be used to probe the optical response of the chiral metamaterials. Fluorescence spectroscopy (CW and lifetime) with k-space imaging will be used to extract the efficiency and directionality of the structures. Reflectivity will be used to retrieve optical constants and spectral range of near zero index behaviour. CW and lifetime fluorescence spectroscopy will be used to probe optical response of emitters. State-of-the-art imaging tools will be used to probe the structure of the metamaterial and to optimise the light-matter interaction. The materials will be incorporated in organic light-emitting devices to improve properties such as the directionality of emitted light. The Ph.D. student will benefit by working in a large interdisciplinary group of physicists and chemists.
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In order to qualify for this scholarship you will require an undergraduate degree with at least a 2.1, or equivalent in a relevant subject.
Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,057 in 2015/16) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.
Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.
PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.
Successful applicants will be informed of the award as soon as possible and by 30th April 2016 at the latest.