Vitrimers – synthesis of a new class of supramolecular materials and exploration of their materials properties

Supervisor(s)

Contact Professor Andrew J Wilson and Dr Johan Mattsson to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

This project is aimed at the design and physical characterisation of a new type of supramolecular materials, so called vitrimers. Supramolecular materials are based on fundamental molecular units that self assemble to form larger entities, such as clusters or networks. Both the fundamental units and their interactions can be designed to impart physical macroscopic properties including viscosity, mechanical rigidity or specific adhesion or transport characteristics. Advanced materials with highly tuneable and switchable properties can be produced that use triggers such as temperature, pH, pressure, optics or an applied electric or magnetic field.

Vitrimers are made from small molecule or polymeric units which link to form an interconnected network. Remarkably, for vitrimers the network strength given by the number of network nodes stays fixed even though external triggers can drive the rate at which local topological network rearrangements take place. The latter allow macroscopic shape changes (malleability) and controlled transport properties even though the network strength stays fixed. Advanced materials with highly tuneable and switchable properties can be produced that use triggers such as temperature, pH, pressure, optics or an applied electric or magnetic field.

This work is multidisciplinary and the successful candidate will be situated within the School of Chemistry, but work closely with the School of Physics and Astronomy (where the novel vitrimers will be characterised) and the School of Mathematics (theoretical models of the material response).

For further information download the PhD opportunity advert.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from self-funded or scholarship holding candidates with, or expecting, a minimum of the equivalent of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1) in a relevant discipline, and/or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline.

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 'Vitrimers – synthesis of a new class of supramolecular materials and exploration of their materials properties’ as well as Professor Andrew J Wilson and Dr Johan Mattsson as your proposed supervisors.

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

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.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office e: maps.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk.