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Vitrimers: characterizing a new class of supramolecular materials and exploring their potential for novel applications

PGR-P-158

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>

Supramolecular materials are based on fundamental molecular units that self assemble to form larger entities, such as clusters or networks. Both the fundamental units and their interactions can be designed to impart physical macroscopic properties including viscosity, mechanical rigidity or specific adhesion or transport characteristics. Advanced materials with highly tuneable and switchable properties can be produced that use triggers such as temperature, pH, pressure, optics or an applied electric or magnetic field. This project is aimed at the design and physical characterisation of a new type of supramolecular materials, so called vitrimers. These are made from small molecule or polymeric units which link to form an interconnected network. Remarkably, for vitrimers the network strength given by the number of network nodes stays fixed even though external triggers can drive the rate at which local topological network rearrangements take place. The latter allow macroscopic shape changes (malleability) and controlled transport properties even though the network strength stays fixed. Advanced materials with highly tuneable and switchable properties can be produced that use triggers such as temperature, pH, pressure, optics or an applied electric or magnetic field. This work is multidisciplinary and the successful candidate will be situated within the School of Physics, but work closely also with the School of Chemistry (where the novel vitrimers will be synthesised) and the School of Mathematics (theoretical models of the material response).

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>The earliest start date for this project is 1 October 2020.</p>

<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;Vitrimers: characterizing a new class of supramolecular materials and exploring their potential for novel applications&rsquo; as well as&nbsp;<a href="https://physicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/staff/117/dr-johan-mattsson">Dr Johan Mattsson</a>&nbsp;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</strong></p> <p><strong>Funding Eligibility</strong></p> <p><strong>UK/EU</strong> &ndash;&nbsp;Leeds Doctoral Scholarship Award paying Academic Fees and Maintenance matching EPSRC rate of &pound;15,009 per year for 3 years, Alumni Bursary for previous graduates from the University of Leeds offering 10% discount on Academic Fees, School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Scholarship award and Bell Burnell Scholarship award&nbsp;paying Academic Fees and Maintenance matching EPSRC rate of &pound;15,009 per year for 3 years</p> <p><strong>International Students</strong> &ndash;&nbsp;China Scholarship Council-University of Leeds Scholarship Award paying Academic Fees for 3 years, Alumni Bursary for previous graduates from the University of Leeds offering 10% discount on Academic Fees, School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Fee Only Scholarship award paying Academic Fees for 3 years and Bell Burnell Scholarship award&nbsp;paying Academic Fees and Maintenance matching EPSRC rate of &pound;15,009 per year for 3 years</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> <p>&nbsp;</p>


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