PhD studentship Smart Textiles and Surface Coatings for Contamination Destruction or Removal

Supervisors: Dr Ray Whitby, Prof Andy Cundy and Dr Joan Farrer

Application deadline: 4pm, 27 June 2013

Technical Textiles is the fastest growing branch of textile industries worldwide with bright prospects. The total global sale of Technical Textiles in 1995 was US$42 bn. It is estimated to be US$72 bn in 2005 and is expected to reach US$126 bn by 2010. Asia is the chief producer and consumer of Technical Textiles. Research and Development needs to be made in the area of Smart Textiles; where textiles responds to the environment according to their application and function precisely as required – and ‘fit for purpose’ as defined by the end user.

It is well known that particles at the nano-scale (i.e. of the order of 10-9m) show unusual chemical properties and enhanced reactivity and the incorporation of nanomaterials into fibres will impart their functionality. The aim of this PhD Studentship is to create desirable clothing made of protective ‘smart’ textiles. The functionality of the smart textiles will be primarily concerned with the destruction or removal of contaminants through everyday use.

The project will involve the synthesis of designer nanomaterials, their incorporation into textiles and the characterisation of the final composite samples, with emphasis on end-application. The successful candidate will be expected to synthesis nanomaterials through a variety of methods, including chemical synthesis, chemical vapour deposition, pyrolysis, in order to generate nanomaterials with specific geometry, chemical composition and/or properties. These materials will be extensively characterised and their performance as free nanoparticles assessed, using techniques such as XPS, ICP-MS, AFM, SEM, TEM. These nanomaterials will be incorporated into textiles through screen or spray coating the textile surface or through fibre extrusion techniques. The final composite tested for the destruction or removal of molecular and ionic contaminants from various media, such as biological and aqueous media.

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Students will also have opportunity to join a highly active smart nanomaterials group at the University, interact with a range of external industry partners, and further expand their training via the University’s certificate in research methodology including taught modules in quantitative and analytical techniques.

Funding notes: Each studentship is valued at £58,500 over three years and includes funding to cover annual tuition fees and a contribution towards living costs. It is available to students worldwide.

Eligibility and how to apply: Please visit our website

Further Information: Contact the office of Professor David Arnold, dean of the Doctoral College on: +44 (0)1273 761432 or

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