PhD Studentship – Self-Assembled Cellulose Structures for Sustainable Photonic Technologies



Reference: MA01928
Closing date: 30 November 2013

A 3-year PhD studentship to start in April or October 2014 is available in the group led by Dr Silvia Vignolini in the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis to investigate the use of cellulose as a photonic material. The most brilliant colours in nature are produced not with pigments but by nano-structuring transparent materials. As an example, some plants obtain vibrant colour by producing self-assembled cellulose nanostructures on their foliage and flowers. Cellulose is the most abundant and environmentally friendly among bio-polymers available today. Using cellulose as a photonic material will lead to cheap and sustainable photonic devices. It will also address fundamental questions about the biological significance and assembly mechanisms in cellulose-based natural photonic structures. In this project, cellulose photonic materials will be fabricated and optically characterised with different spectroscopic techniques. The project will be multi-disciplinary, involving a close collaboration with the Departments of Physics and Plant Sciences.

Applicants should have obtained (or be about to obtain) an honours degree (at least equivalent to a UK II.1) and preferably a Masters in physics, chemistry, or other relevant subject, and should be self-motivated, with a strong interest in working as part of a multi-disciplinary research team. Demonstrated programming skills would also be advantageous.

Due to funding restrictions the studentship provides a maintenance grant and tuition fees at the home/EU rate. Applicants must satisfy the eligibility requirements for the Home/EU fees rate. Non-EU nationals can be considered only if they already have the means to cover the fees differential for overseas students.

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Applications should include a CV and contact details for two professional referees, and should be sent to Dr Silvia Vignolini, Department of Chemistry, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1EW (email: [email protected] via the Apply button below).

Please quote reference MA01928 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

To apply, please click the Apply button below.

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