Subject areas: soft condensed matter physics, organic electronics, self-assembly, materials science, manufacturing, surfaces and interfaces.

A fully funded 3-year PhD studentship is available at UCL Chemistry to work on an interdisciplinary project in the group of Dr Giorgio Volpe in collaborations with the groups of Dr Bob C. Schroeder and Dr Matthew Blunt.

Solution processable molecular organic semiconductors are prime candidates to realise flexible electronics. However, a lack of control over molecular alignment is currently severely limiting their electronic performance. Being able to guide their deposition and solid-state packing on a molecular level would therefore be a significant leap forward to improve their electronic properties. In recent years, major effort has been undertaken to develop novel techniques to achieve a higher level of alignment on deposited organic semiconductors. While these approaches were successful in coating large areas, it is still challenging to adapt them for controllably patterning organic semiconductors to be used in electronic circuits, organic photovoltaics and organic thermoelectric generators. This project will focus on applying a novel noncontact printing technique with great molecular alignment capabilities developed in Dr Volpe’s group to improve the alignment and, hence, the electronic properties of organic semiconductors. The improved electronic performance will be tested by fabricating prototype printed electronic devices. This studentship is part of a larger 3-year project funded by the EPSRC, which will develop in close collaboration with the groups of Dr Bob Schroeder and Dr Matthew Blunt at UCL Chemistry. As part of this project, the successful candidate will also be expected to work in close collaboration with two postdoctoral researchers in the host group.

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent at Bachelor’s or Master’s level in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Engineering or a related discipline. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject and the ability to think analytically and creatively. An enquiring and rigorous approach to research as well as excellent team-working, computer skills and observational and communication skills (both presentation and writing skills in English) are also essential. Previous data analysis and programming experience are highly desirable. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment would be highly desirable but not essential, as training will be provided.

Interested candidates should initially contact the supervisor, Dr Giorgio Volpe (), with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged. Please note that a suitable applicant will first be required to complete MS Form entitled Application for Research: degree Chemistry programme. The next step is to complete an electronic application form at (please select Research degree: Chemistry programme). They will be invited for the interview no more than 4 weeks after the application deadline. The interview process will include a short data analysis project and the preparation of a small report to summarise its results. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac and Holly Ambrose-Wilson at .

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 here.

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