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PhD Studentship in Laser-based Spectroscopy of Light Absorbing Aerosol Particles

University of Oxford

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Oxford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £18,622 per year for three and a half years.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 10th November 2023
Closes: 19th January 2024
Reference: MC/Chem/2024

Supervisor: Professor Michael Cotterell

Start date: 1st October 2024

Applications are invited for a DPhil in Chemistry position, available from 1st October 2024, to work with Professor Michael Cotterell in the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Building, University of Oxford, UK. The project, sponsored by the Department of Chemistry, will use laser based optical spectroscopy to probe aerosols (solid or liquid particles suspended in air) that contain chemical species that absorb light. Project outcomes will improve our understanding of how the evolution of particles during chemical processes affect their optical properties.

Aerosol particles are colloidal systems that have mesoscopic dimensions, ranging from sizes as small as ten nanometres to as large as one hundred micrometres, and their societal importance includes their role in Earth’s climate and environmental air quality, the transmission of disease, the manufacture of materials and products, and the delivery of drugs via inhalation. In the Oxford Aerosol Research group, our research is interested in the impacts of atmospheric aerosols on Earth’s climate; the potential for accelerated chemical reactions in aerosols; and exploring the shapes and structures of spray-dried aerosol particles comprised of multiple chemical components. We have developed sensitive laser-based spectroscopy techniques for aerosol measurements, including for single aerosol particles levitated using optical or electrodynamic trapping techniques.

The project will involve using the group’s state-of-the-science laser-based spectroscopy tools to probe aerosol particles as they undergo chemical change. We are interested in quantifying how water uptake by atmospherically relevant aerosol particles affects their ability to scatter and absorb sunlight, and how the rates of chemical reactions may be altered in aerosol systems compared to those taking place in macroscopic (beaker-scale) systems.

The candidate is expected to have a strong interest in physical chemistry and spectroscopy. Applicants should have, or be expecting to obtain, a first or upper second-class Masters honours degree in chemistry, physics, or a related discipline.

Funding for:UK Students, EU Students, International Students*

* The studentship will cover course fees at the Home rate and will provide a stipend of no less than the standard UK Research Council rate, currently set at £18,622 per year for three and a half years.

Please note the eligibility criteria set out by the UKRI at:

www.ukri.org/what-we-do/developing-people-and-skills/esrc/funding-for-postgraduate-training-and-development/eligibility-for-studentship-funding

Please quote MC/Chem/2024 under ‘Departmental Studentship Applications’.

Queries relating to the application and admission process should be directed to graduate.admissions@chem.ox.ac.uk ; tel.: +44 (0) 1865 272569.

For informal enquiries related to the project, please contact: michael.cotterell@chem.ox.ac.uk

The Department of Chemistry is an Equal Opportunities Employer and holds the Athena SWAN Silver Award.

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