01/07/2020

PhD - The birth of crystals: new understanding of nucleation by localised triggering and direct measurement

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  • ORGANISATION NAME
    University of Strathclyde - Chemical and Process Engineering
  • ORGANISATION COUNTRY
    United Kingdom
  • FUNDING TYPE
    Funding
  • DEADLINE DATE
    30/09/2020
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Formal sciences
  • CAREER STAGE
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)

Outline

Despite being ubiquitous in manufacturing processes and in nature, crystal nucleation—the ‘birth’ of the ‘first’ crystal during the transition from liquid or solution to solid—remains a fundamental scientific puzzle. From water ice forming in the refrigerator, to manufacturing pharmaceutical vaccines and medicines, nucleation of the crystal phase is the key first step. The problem is that nucleation occurs randomly (with a probability determined by temperature or solute concentration), making direct observation of a single event—being in the right place at the right time—a major challenge and key barrier to better fundamental understanding.

 

In this project we will develop an innovative technique using an optical tweezer to generate a localized shear flow in a crystallizing solution, thus triggering nucleation in a known, directly observable position. We will then use light scattering to measure the structure and shape of the growing nucleus, interpreted through refining computational models of the nucleus against the measured data.

 

This challenging project will bring the PhD candidate excellent research experience across crystallization processes, cutting-edge optical control and measurement, and data analysis using computational modelling.

 

Research students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a valuable supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects. There will also be opportunity to gain teaching experience and to take part in the Department’s extensive outreach activities as part of the ReallySmallScience public engagement team.

What is funded

The project is fully funded for Home UK/EU fees + stipend). The proposed start date for this project is October 2020.

Duration

3 years

Eligibility

Candidates should be strongly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research in a highly collaborative environment. You should have or be about to obtain a good degree (at least 2.1) in chemical engineering, physics or a related subject, with excellent laboratory, data analysis and communication skills. Experience in optics, crystallization processes and/or computational data analysis would be an advantage.

Contact 

chemeng-pg-admissions@strath.ac.uk

 

Supervisor

Dr Mark Haw (Chemical & Process Engineering - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow)

 

Disclaimer:

The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.