Liquid crystals for the low carbon future


Contact Professor Cliff Jones to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

Self assembly in soft matter systems such as liquid crystals and colloids leads to a variety of useful and interesting behaviors. Recently, novel templating methods have been used to copy such structures and induce novel behaviour, such as wide temperature photonic structures for use in printable lasers, and high Kerr effect materials for use in fast display modes for television applications.

As an important part of the low-carbon future, battery technology is an important and potentially lucrative area for research. This proposal will investigate templating of both columnar and smectic liquid crystals for the creation of ion-channels in polymer
electrolytes for novel batteries. A variety of characterisation techniques will be used, including dielectric analysis, cryo-SEM and voltammetry. The use of composites will also be explored, including graphene oxide flakes and carbon nanotubes.

Also to be explored is the use of disclinations in nematic liquid crystals as ion channels for novel electronic devices. These defects can be controlled by careful manipulation of the surface structure in liquid crystal devices. It is envisaged that defect networks can be reconfigured using electrical and optical switching methods, to form novel electronic devices.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with, or expecting, a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1) in a relevant discipline, a Master's degree in a relevant discipline, or both.

Additional staff contact

Dr. Johan Mattson, Dr Mamatha Nagaraj

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the 'Structure and Control of DNA origami’ as well as Professor Cliff Jones as your proposed supervisor.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates.  All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.