PhD Studentship: Graphene Chemistry, Characterisation, and Composites

Imperial College London - Department of Materials and Department of Chemistry

Duration: 36 months

Supervisor Professor Milo Shaffer

We are inviting motivated candidates for a PhD studentship in the exciting field of “Graphene Chemistry, Characterisation, and Composites”. The studentship includes fees and a bursary for suitable UK/EU nationals for the duration of 3 years. The expected start date is 1st October 2016.

Intrinsically, ideal graphene and related materials (GRMs) have exceptional properties and offer the potential for fundamental improvements in a wide range of applications. The ability to manifest these properties in useful macroscopic applications is intimately linked to the manufacturing processes and modification chemistry involved, which determine the nature and quality of the GRMs produced, as well as the extent of their dispersion in solvents (for inks) or matrices (for composites). The aim of the project will be to better understand the nature of GRM based products, using advanced techniques to map the locus of functionalization, and the three dimensional dispersion/orientation within, for example, polymer matrices. Advanced techniques such as nanoscale tomography will provide fundamental new insight, but cannot be used routinely in a manufacturing context. Thus, the goal will be to relate this type of detailed characterisation to more accessible physical properties, such a conductivity or viscosity. The project will complement “TheLink”, a new EU-funded Marie Curie network with a major node at Imperial, which is addressing similar issues in carbon nanotube systems. The application of functionalised GRMs to composites is a particular interest, and there will be the opportunity to explore the combination of GRMs with conventional carbon fibres, to create hierarchical composites.

You will join a dynamic research team focusing on hierarchical assemblies and composites, at Imperial College London (; the group has a strong activity in the chemistry, processing, and applications of nanocarbons. Applicants should have solid knowledge in physical science, with an interest in nanomaterials, combined with good teamwork and communication skills; experience of electron microscopy or mapping spectroscopy would be an advantage but is not essential. Candidates should have (or be expecting to have) a Master’s degree (1st class or upper second class) in materials, physics, chemistry, or relevant discipline. 

This PhD studentship is funded by the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and is open to UK home students or European students who have spent the last three years in the UK.  The studentship will cover tuition fees plus the standard maintenance stipend of £16,296 per year. It is expected that the project will also be eligible for a £3000 CASE top-up as part of a collaboration with a leading company in the field.

How to apply:

For further details of the post, and informal enquiries, please contact Professor Milo Shaffer at, in the first instance, supplying a CV and covering note. Eligible applicants will be required to complete a full electronic application form. The prospectus, entry requirements and application form (under ‘how to apply’) are available at:

 The studentship is available for an immediate start from 1 October 2016.

Closing date: 31st December or until filled

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