Postgraduate Research Opportunity: Non-aqueous Dispersion Chemistry

University of Leeds

Funded PhD project: UK and EU
Value: Funding covers the cost of fees and provides a maintenance matching the Research Council UK rate (£14,553 for 2017/18). Funding duration is 3 years. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.
Number of awards: Funding for this award is not guaranteed. This research project is in competition for scholarship funding with other projects and will be awarded on a competitive basis.
Deadline: 19/01/2018
Supervisors: Contact Associate Professor David Harbottle to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

The scientific principles of dispersion chemistry are well described in aqueous environments, yet many of the molecule/particle stabilizing mechanisms have limited application in non-aqueous systems. Destabilization of a dispersed phase often leads to many unwanted behaviors including aggregation, deposition and fouling, with the rate accelerated by an inability to effectively stabilize the colloidal species.

The PhD will use a suite of colloidal and surface science techniques to study the interaction between polyaromatic molecules and polymeric dispersants in non-aqueous solvents. These compounds are considered to be extremely problematic due to their many mechanisms of self-aggregation via π-π stacking, hydrophobic interactions and coordination complexes. The PhD candidate will join the vibrant colloid and polymer engineering community at the University of Leeds and have full access to range of high-sophisticated scientific instruments to elucidate the dominant interactions that promote stability.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/ or a Master's degree in a relevant subject such as (but not limited to) chemical engineering.

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 the ‘Non-aqueous dispersion chemistry' as well as Associate Professor David Harbottle as your proposed supervisor. In the funding section, please state "EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership" as your sponsor.

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:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.

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