PhD Studentship: LIPSS: Laser Induced Particle Synthesis and Spectroscopy

University of Sussex - Chemistry, School of Life Sciences

A Ph.D. studentship (42 months) is available from September 2018 under the supervision of Dr Mark Osborne, Department of Chemistry, School of Life Sciences.

Semiconductor nanoparticles (NPs) are now contributing to major advances in solar cell and display technologies, biological and medical imaging and nanophotonics. While these photoactive materials offer high, light harvesting and photoluminescence (PL) efficiencies, their performance is limited by a number of photo-instabilities that ultimately affect their performance. The Osborne Lab conducts research into the mechanism and control of optical properties in nanoparticles, from classical CdSe quantum dots (QDs) to new perovskite (CsMX3, M = Pb, Sn, X = Cl, Br, I) QDs and nanowires (NWs) and now offers a PhD studentship in this productive area of research.

The studentship aims to develop LIPSS, a novel Laser Induced Particle Synthesis and Spectroscopy platform to investigate and exploit our recent discoveries of novel photocatalytic processes in NP formation. The research will explore the full range of laser induced effects (power, wavelength, crystal bulk, vs surface, vs edge effects) on NP production and the control of particle size distribution, chemical composition and structural integrity. The project will further develop methods to stabilise NP physicochemical and optical properties through novel chemistries for enhanced performance in sensing devices being developed in conjunction with the Condensed Matter and Materials group in Physics and Genome Damage and Stability Centre at Sussex. Concomitant with these studies will be exploration of novel optical phenomena observed during NP production, including anomalous heating and lensing, vortex and particle trapping effects derived from the strong plasmonic properties of the NPs and assemblies thereof. To complement LIPPS, NP products will be characterised by a range of techniques, offering the opportunity to gain experience in electron and Raman microscopy, x-ray diffraction, mass spec and NMR for the analysis of structure, composition and surface properties and conventional colloidal nanoparticle synthesis will be used for comparative studies.

This project is one of a number ear-marked for funding by the University of Sussex Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Training Partnership to commence in September 2018. This project is in direct competition with others for funding; the projects which receive the best applicants will be awarded the funding.

Please submit a formal application using our online application system at, including a CV, degree transcripts and certificates, statement of interest (clearly stating supervisor’s name and the project title) and names of two academic referees. On the application system use Programme of Study – PhD Chemistry.

Applicants will have an excellent academic record and should have received or be expected to receive a relevant first or upper-second class honours degree. The EPSRC award is available to UK and to EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for the previous 3 years. EU candidates who do not meet this criteria will be eligible for a fee waiver only. Overseas (non EU) students are not eligible to apply for EPSRC funding, but they are welcome to apply if they have access to other sources of funding

Contact Anna Izykowska for application enquiries (

Contact Dr Mark Osborne ( for enquiries about the project

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