Fully funded PhD studentship: the new generation of nanomaterials: how to get control on matter at the nanoscale

26 November 2018

Shaping the new generation of nanomaterials: how to get control on matter at the nanoscale

Supervisor: Dr Cristina Giordano

Deadline: 31st January 2019

Funding: QMUL (UK/EU only)

Project description

Nanomaterials are now in our everyday life in many different fields, from automobile, medicine, electronics and more. Nevertheless, there are still classes of materials, whose potential needs to be developed. Among them, the class of metallic ceramics (MCs) has shown promising performance in many technological fields but somehow still lack dedicated research to translate this potential into practical applications. MCs are well-known for their good mechanical properties (hardness, toughness), thermal and chemical resistance, catalytic activity and intriguing electronic structure*. However, these qualities are related to a peculiar atomic arrangement, which gives a final material that is intrinsically difficult to “shape” and control.*

The present project aims at circumvent this drawback by MCs nanoparticles functionalization. Functionalization is essential for the effective utilization of MCs in many fields (e.g. diagnostic and sensing), but also to allow nanoparticles control for selected deposition onto active supports, easy processing and shaping and, last but not least, the formulation of novel hybrids materials.

Alongside the project, after the preparation of selected MCs nanoparticles, surface nanoparticles will be modified to make them compatible with suitable agents, which in turn will improve their properties, making them multifunctional, dispersible in liquid media, mouldable to complex structures and more. The choice of applications will be manifold and will range from electro-catalysis, biomedical diagnostic and magneto-fluids production. Characterization of these material via classical and advanced techniques, including X-rays diffraction (XRD) and electron microscopy (TEM and SEM) will be also an essential part of the project.

The studentship is fully funded and available to UK and EU applicants. It will cover tuition fees as well as provide an annual tax-free maintenance allowance for 3 years at Research Councils UK rates (£16,777 in 2018-19).

Brexit note: The UK government has confirmed that EU students starting in the 2018-19 and the 2019-20 academic years will continue to be eligible for tuition fee loans and for 'home' fee status for the duration of their study. Source:

Eligibility and Applying
Applicants must meet the entry requirements for our PhD programmes.

The ideal candidate should preferably have a physical/colloid chemistry background, experience in synthesis and related research/lab expertise.

Before submitting an online application, please email Dr. Giordano ( motivation letter describing your scientific backgrounds and your interest in performing this project, alongside your complete CV (including two reference names).

*Giordano, C. & Antonietti, M.; Synthesis of crystalline metal nitride and metal carbide nanostructures by sol–gel chemistry; Nano Today 6, 366–380 (2011).
Contact:Dr Cristina Giordano