PhD Studentship Creating nanodevices by pick-and-place assembly

Dr H Bhaskaran

The Advanced Nanoscale Engineering Group at Oxford University’s Materials Department is seeking extraordinarily motivated aspiring scientists to join as Doctoral Researchers (DPhil) starting in October 2014 (Michaelmas 2014).  Our group engages in early-stage, blue-skies research to create nanoscale devices and systems. This also involves trying to understand the underlying science.  Intrigued?  Read on.

The Project

Imagine a world where one can pick-and-place nanoparticles and other nanomaterials into real devices.  This kind of assembly at large scales revolutionized the previous century (cars for example), and creating something akin to this at the nanoscale could yet revolutionize the current one.  It would enable a host of new devices to be built using nanoparticles and structures that cannot be created with existing technology.  To realize these ambitions, we are looking for a team member to pursue the doctorate on fundamental aspects of nanoscience, including the study of surface forces at the nanoscale and the ability to attract single nanoparticles reliably, and place them in a manner similar to automobile assembly.

This project is in close collaboration with Asylum Research of Santa Barbara USA, IBM Research – Zurich, Switzerland and the Microelectronics iNets with potential opportunities to travel to partner sites. 

Our Mentoring and Your Role

The successful candidate will enroll in the DPhil programme in the Department of Materials under the supervision of H Bhaskaran.

The DPhil student working on this project will have the opportunity to become an expert in advanced nanomanufacturing techniques, atomic force microscopy and nanoparticle assembly.  All our projects allow for significant creative contributions (and a reasonable ability to chose amongst various other projects within our group, see descriptions at  The right DPhil candidate will have the freedom to shape research directions.  Our diverse group has a variety of informal mentoring approaches to get you up-to-speed and become a confident researcher within a reasonable time frame.

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Your Profile and application

Your profile will ideally be one of a highly motivated researcher (evidenced by previous stints in research groups or labs), having (or predicted to earn) a first class honors degree (or equivalent) undergraduate/masters in Physics, Materials, Engineering, Chemistry or a closely related field with a deep desire to carry out independent experimental research.  You must enjoy hands-on laboratory experiments and have the desire to try out many novel ideas.  Evidence (via references) of initiative would be a plus, as this is an experimental project.

Candidates are considered in the January 2014 admissions cycle which has an application deadline of 24 January 2014 – however, in exceptional cases we will make an early offer (November cycle), and hence early applications are encouraged.  Due to funding restrictions this 3.5 year EPSRC DTA studentship will provide full fees and maintenance for a citizen of the UK or for a citizen of the EU who has spent the previous three years (or more) in the UK undertaking undergraduate study.  The stipend is expected to be £13,726 per year. Other EU citizens should read the guidance at for further information about eligibility.

Any questions concerning the project can be addressed to Dr Harish Bhaskaran (  General enquiries on how to apply can be made by e mail to  You must complete the standard Oxford University Application for Graduate Studies and further information and an electronic copy of the application form can be found by clicking the Apply link below.

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