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Cycloparaphenylene Liquid Crystals


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Friday 28 April 2023
Project start date
Sunday 1 October 2023
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Professor Cliff Jones and Dr Richard Mandle
School of Chemistry
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Liquid crystals are ubiquitous in our lives; we encounter them constantly thanks to their widespread use in display technology. The self-organizing nature of liquid crystals means they have potential to find use in other areas such as nanomaterials and photovoltaics, however the properties of existing materials are typically rather limited within these settings. <br /> <br /> This project focuses on developing novel cycoparaphenylene liquid crystals; these feature a &lsquo;belt&rsquo; of benzene rings. By appropriately substituting, these can be made liquid crystalline and the resultant material spontaneously organizes into a columnar structure. Depending on the size of the cycloparaphenylene belt different molecules can be encapsulated within the central void, this enables the electronic properties of the resultant bulk material to be tuned (e.g. band gap, refractive index).<br /> <br /> This PhD project is experimental in nature, bringing together synthetic chemistry with modern chemical analysis, as well as physical materials characterisation. Thus, the project is most suited to applicants with a background in Chemistry, Natural Sciences, or Chemical Engineering. You will join an interdisciplinary research group which spans the chemistry-physics interface, with access to state of the art synthetic facilities in the school of Chemistry, and physical characterisation in the Bragg Centre<br /> <br /> If you are interested in this project, and would like to find out more about the research topic or the PhD program at the University of Leeds, then please contact Dr Richard Mandle (

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

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

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <em><strong>PhD Physics &amp; Astronomy</strong></em> and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Cycloparaphenylene Liquid Crystals</strong></em> as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr. Richard Mandle</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>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. &nbsp;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>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 28 April 2023:</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> <li>Funding information: School of Physics &amp; Astronomy</li> </ul>

<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 class="MsoNoSpacing">A highly competitive School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Studentship consisting of the award of fees at the UK fee rate of &pound;4,596 or Non-UK fee rate of &pound;25,500 with a maintenance grant (currently &pound;17,668 for session 2022/23) for 3.5 years.</p> <p>This opportunity is open to UK applicants only. All candidates will be placed into the School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.<br /> <br /> Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p> <p><strong>Self-funded students and externally sponsored students are also very welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

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

<p>Individuals interested in this project are encouraged to contact Dr. Richard Mandle for further information:<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions:</p> <p>e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>