PhD Studentship – Soft-templated 3D Nanostructured Semiconductors University of Southampton School of Chemistry United Kingdom

PhD Studentship – Soft-templated 3D Nanostructured Semiconductors


School of Chemistry


Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Tuesday 30 April 2019
Reference:  1104519EB


PhD Supervisor: Iris Nandhakumar (Southampton)            


Co-supervisors: Prof Nick  Terril and Dr Chris Nicolin (Diamond) 


Interviews will be held in May 2019


PhD Description:  In this project you will create and characterise a new class of 3D nanostructuredsemiconductor materials that are of relevance to a wide range of applications within photovoltaics, optoelectronics and energy harvesting as part of an exciting collaboration between the University of Southampton and Diamond Light Source.


Three-dimensional (3D) nanostructuring of metals and semiconductors has resulted in enhanced optical, magnetic and electronic properties, yielding new devices and device concepts: plenty of evidence exists for new effects that can lead to advanced technology from such materials such as super-capacitors for mobile energy storage, extremely sensitive molecular sensors, and advanced solar cells. However despite these advances there are practical difficulties to achieve such precise construction and the most successful nanofabrication that is pervasive in electronics is ‘top down’. Although incredibly successful, this is also incredibly expensive, rising exponentially in costs as the size-scales drop. Soft-templating is now an emerging approach for the formation of nanomaterials that allows to make a desired structure on nanometre scales. This involves  making a mould or nanotemplate of a soft - or biomaterial, and then casting inside that template with the desired functional material, i.e. nanomaterials can be made elegantly, efficiently and economically.


In this project you will exploit soft-templates formed by the self-assembly of surfactants and lipids for the formation of well-ordered 3D nanostructured semiconductors that will be characterised  by a comprehensive programme of investigations of the templated materials as well as template under different processing conditions involving TEM, SEM, XRD, SAXS and SANS as well as electronic and optical property measurements having access to world-class facilities at the University of Southampton and Diamond Light Source. 


The project is funded for 3.5 years and welcomes applicants from the UK who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in  Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science or allied subjects/relevant disciplines. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates per annum (predicted 201920 rates are £15.009).


Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK students who meet the RCUK eligibility criteria

Applications for a PhD in Chemistry should be submitted online at


Click on the Research radio button, select 2019-20 in the academic year field and enter Chemistry in the search text field.Click ‘search for programme’.Select PhD Chemistry (Full Time).


Please place Iris Nandhakumar in the field for proposed supervisor/project


General enquiries should be made to Any queries on the application process should be made to


Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.


The University of Southampton and the School of Chemistry both hold Athena SWAN Silver Awards, reflecting their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, and particularly to gender equality.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


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