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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Nanotechnology for hybrid optoelectronic and biosensing systems and devices

Research Group: Chemistry
Number of Students: 1
Length of Study in Years: 3.5 Years
Full-time Project: yes


This studentship is fully funded via the UKRI EPSRC Doctoral Training Programme for 3.5 years and includes a stipend (currently £17,609 in 2021/2022) and Fees.

Project Description

The controlled organization of individual molecules and nanostructures with nanoscale accuracy is key for the fabrication of the next generation optoelectronic devices and the investigation of events in biological and chemical assays. In this regard, we developed different platforms based on 1D and 2D that allow for single-molecule and nanoscale studies to be performed in a variety of research fields, from optoelectronics , to bioelectronics and biosensing.

In this project, we plan to assemble and fabricate nanoscale system and devices for molecular-, bio- and opto-electronics , biosensing and renewable energy applications. This will be achieved controlling the assembly of 1D and 2D semiconducting materials (e.g. carbon nanotubes and MoS2 ) interfacing individual molecules and nanostructures with molecular linkers and biological moieties.

The project will involve the use of i) (bio)chemical approaches, ii) nanofabrication strategies, and iii) microscopy techniques for nanoscale characterization. Covalent and supramolecular chemistry strategies will be developed for the self-assembly (in solution) of novel hybrid nanoscale materials . The nanostructures will be then characterized via Scanning Probe Microcopy (AFM-based) , other Microscopies (e.g. fluorescence) and spectroscopy techniques . Nanofabrication techniques will be employed for the fabrication of nanoscale devices, that will be electrically characterized. The controlled fabrication of these platforms will allow the realization of high-throughput and versatile platforms. (See: Adv. Funct. Mater. 2021, 31, 2105719; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 20184 –20189 ; Faraday Discuss., 2021, 227, 233–244; Nano Lett. 2018, 18, 4130−4135)

This PhD studentship is available in the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences in the groups of Dr Matteo Palma and Dr Jan Mol : the supervisory team combines the expertise in the controlled assembly of functional nanostructures (Dr Palma: ) and nanoelectronic device implementation (Dr Mol: ). Informal enquiries about the project are strongly encouraged and should be made by email to  as soon as possible.




This year UKRI announced that there will be a limited number of studentships for international students available.  International applicants are encouraged to apply but should note that studentship awards will be subject to eligibility and the availability of funding.

To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or  
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classified as an international student.

Further guidance on UKRI Eligibility Criteria is here, and within Annex One of the International Eligibility Guidance.

  • The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
  • If English is not your first language, you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).
  • Candidates are expected to start from September 2022

Application Deadline - 30th January

Please use this link to apply:


SPCS Academics: Dr Matteo Palma