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Tuning selective gas transport in polymers by manipulation of molecular orientation

PGR-P-157

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Funding
Competition funded
Supervisors
Dr Johan Mattsson
Schools
School of Physics and Astronomy
Research groups/institutes
Soft Matter Physics
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Polymer films are used extensively for packaging due to their processability, lightweight and transparency. The barrier properties of such films is, as would be expected, also a crucial property, particularly when used for food packaging. In some cases it is crucial to keep gases within the barrier, in other instances keeping gases from penetrating to the contents within.<br /> <br /> Occasionally it is also advantageous to have a specially designed barrier, which would allow selective transport of particular gases in either direction. One key aspect of the polymer film that can potentially be modified during melt processing, or a subsequent solid state processing stage, is the level of preferred molecular orientation within the film. If the rate of deformation used to manufacture the film is faster than the relaxation time of the polymer chain (often controlled by the entanglement time), then the polymer chains can be trapped in a preferred orientation.<br /> <br /> These effects might be used to custom design polymer films for important physical properties such as preferential gas transfer. The aim of this project is to assess whether preferred molecular orientation can be used to affect gas transport, and for what particular single gas (oxygen, nitrogen, water vapour etc) or gas mixtures. Careful annealing of oriented films can produce different levels of molecular orientation at different length scales, and the interest is to see if this can be used to tailor gas transport.<br /> <br /> The project will use small scale, but relevant, processing facilities at Leeds to manufacture films with controlled levels of orientation. The trapped orientation, and its dynamics, will be assessed by a range of experimental techniques all available at Leeds including dielectric spectroscopy, birefringence, differential scanning calorimetry and rheology, as well as the important underpinning gas diffusion measurements.

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/130206/applying/91/applying_for_research_degrees">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &lsquo;Tuning selective gas transport in polymers by manipulation of molecular orientation&rsquo; as well as&nbsp;<a href="https://physicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/staff/117/dr-johan-mattsson">Dr Johan Mattsson</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p><strong>Self-Funding Students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK&nbsp;students</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/138-leeds-doctoral-scholarships-2021-january-deadline">Leeds Doctoral Scholarship (January deadline)</a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/141-henry-ellison-scholarship-2021">Henry Ellison Scholarship</a>&nbsp;are available to UK applicants. The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/102-bell-burnell-scholarship-award-awarded-by-the-iop">Bell Burnell Scholarship Award</a>&nbsp;is available to support applicants who are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics (awarded by the IOP).&nbsp; <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>International students</strong>&nbsp;&ndash; The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/63-school-of-physics-astronomy-fee-only-scholarship">School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Fee Only Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support the additional academic fees of international applicants. The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/48-china-scholarship-council-university-of-leeds-scholarships-2021">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China. The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/73-leeds-marshall-scholarship">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/102-bell-burnell-scholarship-award-awarded-by-the-iop">Bell Burnell Scholarship Award</a>&nbsp;is also available to international applicants and supports those who are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics (awarded by the IOP). <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information regarding your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by&nbsp;email:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:EMAIL@leeds.ac.uk">m</a><a href="mailto:maps.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk">aps.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk</a>, or by telephone: +44 (0)113 343 5057</p> <p>For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Johan Mattson by email:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="mailto:K.J.L.Mattsson@leeds.ac.uk">K.J.L.Mattsson@leeds.ac.uk</a></p>


<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>