PhD project: Sustainable self-assembly of colloidal crystals for photonic or energy-storage applications
Colloidal crystals are regular arrangements of colloidal, micron-sized particles. They have (potential) applications in a wide range of areas including photonics, sensing and energy storage. Colloidal crystals can be fabricated through either top-down (lithographic) or bottom-up (self-assembly) processes. The self-assembly route is particularly appealing, as it promises low cost, simple fabrication processes with genuine potential for scale-up. However, in order to scale up colloidal crystal fabrication for real-world applications, the required self-assembly process should be sustainable, for example using sustainable materials and/or avoiding sacrificial scaffolds.
In this project, you will develop self-assembly routes for colloidal crystals using sustainable materials and processes. Samples will be structurally characterized using a combination of electron microscopy and (light) scattering. Moreover, depending on whether the envisaged application is photonics or battery storage, samples will also be characterized using an optical spectroscope or a potentiostat. There may be opportunities to collaborate with colleagues in the School of Mathematics and the Edinburgh soft matter physics group on machine learning approaches to multi-objective materials design; after all, there may be trade-offs between device performance and sustainability. There may also be opportunities to collaborate with electrochemists and with colleagues in the Edinburgh soft-matter physics group on DNA-mediated self-assembly.
- Dr Job Thijssen (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
The project supervisor welcomes informal enquiries about this project.
Find out more about this research area
The links below summarise our research in the area(s) relevant to this project:
- Find out more about Soft Matter Physics.
- Find out more about the Institute for Condensed Matter and Complex Systems.
- Find out how to apply for our PhD degrees.
- Find out about fees and funding and studentship opportunities.
- View and complete the application form (on the main University website).
- Find out how to contact us for more information.