Positions open

PhD position available in the theory of clustering in fluids with competing interactions.

Some small-molecule solutions exhibit giant clusters (consisting of millions of solute molecules) well below the solid solubility limit. This behaviour is increasingly recognised in recent literature but not at all understood despite its importance for the physics of liquid mixtures, and for applications across science and engineering. Indeed, it is still not possible to predict the properties of these clusters or their effect on solution behaviour and phenomena. Their existence has profound consequences for many applications including nucleation of molecular crystals (e.g. for polymorph control in pharmaceutical manufacturing) and templated synthesis of advanced nanomaterials (e.g. for tailoring nanostructures for carbon capture and water purification), since their presence will govern the formation pathways and rates of these processes. A fully-funded PhD scholarship is available that will aim to shed light on this phenomenon by tackling the key theoretical challenges: to understand how such large clusters can apparently be stable in solution, and to develop methods for predicting experimentally observed behaviour. This project is co-ordinated and jointly supervised by Dr Martin Sweatman (Edinburgh) and Dr Leo Lue (Strathclyde)

Candidates should have a good (1st or 2:1 hons) degree in a cognate discipline, such as Chemical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics. An interest in molecular thermodynamics and computational modelling is desirable. Position is open until filled - applicants should send their CVs to Dr Martin Sweatman directly.

Other postgraduate opportunities are also available each year in the School of Engineering on a competitive basis. Students interested in pursuing research in my group should send their CV to me directly at martin.sweatman"at"ed.ac.uk .

International students outwith the EU are able to apply for each position, but PhD applicants would need to find additional funding, around 14,000 pounds each year, to cover the fee difference for PhD scholarships. One possible source for this funding are the Edinburgh Global Research Scholarships(EGRS). I will assist selected students in their applications for this additional funding.

wetting layer absorption
polymer-platelet nanocomposites
novel free energy methods