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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
Source of funding
University of Leeds
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.<br /> <br /> 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.<br /> <br /> 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">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/research-applying/doc/applying-research-degrees">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study that you are applying for <em><strong>PHD Physics &amp; Astronomy FT</strong></em> and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <strong><em>Vitrimers: characterizing a new class of supramolecular materials and exploring their potential for novel applications</em></strong>&nbsp;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&nbsp;and in the finance section, please state clearly&nbsp;<em><strong>the funding that you are applying for, if you are self-funding or externally sponsored</strong></em>.</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 style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Please note that you must provide the following documents at the point you submit your application:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</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 style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/209-leeds-doctoral-scholarships-2022">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a> and <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/234-leeds-opportunity-research-scholarship-2022">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a> 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) (now closed for 2024/25 entry).&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>Non-UK</strong> &ndash; 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 (now closed for 2024/25 entry). 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. <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>Important:</strong>&nbsp; Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are <strong>not</strong> covered under these studentships.</p> <p>Please refer to the <a href="https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/">UKCISA</a> website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

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

<p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions: e:&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></p> <p>For further information about this project, please contact Dr Johan Mattson: e:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="mailto:K.J.L.Mattsson@leeds.ac.uk">K.J.L.Mattsson@leeds.ac.uk</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>