Research opportunities


Below is a list of available positions within the Group, for more information on any of the positions contact

PhD research projects

  • Openings for New PhD students

    There is a small number of DTA studentships available at the School of Chemical Engineering typically allocated at the end of May.
    We are constantly looking for outstanding UK students (first class or 2.1) looking for PhD position in our group who has background in Physics, Chemistry, Materials, Chemical Engineering. In first instance send enquiry to Lidija Siller (
  • Silicon nanocrystals and their processing
    Nanosized materials (10-9 metres, typically totalling 100-10000 atoms) behave differently than their macroscopic counterparts because their properties are governed by quantum effects which dominate at this length scale. Recently, in collaboration with Dr B. Horrocks from the School of Natural Sciences (Newcastle University), we have discovered the first ever vapour of large Si nanocrystals (5 nm).

    The aims of the project are to explore if they behave as gas phase molecules or if their thermodynamic properties show significant differences. In addition the project shall investigate and explore possible applications of single layer Si nanocrystal surfaces formed on various substrates in photonics and electronics. The project will involve experimental work throughout the duration making use of national and international laboratory facilities in Europe.
  • Interaction of nanodiamonds with the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
    Carbon nanoparticles and PAHs are present in our atmospheric environment, particularly in urban and industrial zones, mainly due to the partial combustion of hydrocarbons. The adverse health impact of the nanoparticles and particularly the toxicological hazards of carbon nanoparticles have been related with their interaction with other components of the air pollution, like PAHs. We wish to characterize the interaction of PAHs with nanodiamonds and carbon onions. The project will involve using techniques for nanomaterial characterization such as atomic force microscopy (AFM), photoemission and high resolution electron energy loss spectroscopies. The PhD project will involve occasional visits to large experimental facilities in Europe and the USA.
  • Nanostructured Gold nitride films under various extreme conditions
    Recently we, in collaboration with researchers at Durham University and Belgium, have discovered a novel material – gold nitride which was created by low energy nitrogen ion irradiation of gold surface – which has great potential for use as a coating in the electronics industry. In this project we wish to optimise the formation of surface nanostructures on gold/gold nitride. Ideally we would like to engineer the surface to be as rough as possible in order to increase the sensitivity of the gold to various adsorbates. If successful it is believed this could be a new platform for performing fast screening of various analytes in medical diagnostics. The project will involve using techniques for nanomaterial characterisation such as atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and occasional visits to large experimental facilities in Europe and the USA.