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PhD Studentship: Nanopore Flow Control and Metrology for Smart Surfaces

University of Southampton

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: The funding covers UK/EU fees and stipend in line with EPSRC rates
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 11th July 2018
Closes: 31st August 2018
Reference: EngSci-ELM-303
 

Nanopore flow characterisation is becoming an increasingly important with applications in nanotechnology, environmental sensing and nanotribology. At present, the standard method of measuring flow through a nanopore is by measuring the ion current. However, many liquids (including deionised water) have conductivities that are so low that measuring ion current becomes unfeasible. In this project, alternatives to ion current measurement will be explored using a combined micro-electro-mechanical (MEM) and microfluidic approach. The nanopore flow measurement platform will be used to study the fundamental effect of external stimuli e.g. electric field and/or temperature, on the properties of liquids (e.g. water, alcohol, ionic liquid) near a surface. In the presence of such stimuli, a change of phase or viscosity could occur and this would enable “smart” surfaces to be constructed with controlled flow of liquids across a nanopore. In order to relate the microfluidic data with underlying molecular mechanisms, atomic force microscopy (AFM) will be used to measure the local viscosity of the liquids near a surface, and to observe how the viscosity changes with external stimuli (applied electric field, temperature).

This PhD project is part of a collaboration between the University of Southampton and A*STAR Singapore Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE). The successful candidate will spend two years in Singapore and two years in Southampton, UK. Funding is available to strong candidates with British or EU citizenship. The ideal candidate should have at least an excellent first degree in any field of engineering or applied sciences (minimum of upper second-class honours), and be proficient in English.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Suan Hui Pu, Mechatronics research group, Email:  suanhui.pu@southampton.ac.uk

Click here to apply and select the programme - PhD in Engineering and the Environment. Please enter the title of the PhD Studentship in the application form.

   
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