PhD studentship
Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Department of Chemistry
PhD supervisor: Dr. Li Yang (Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University)
Co-supervisor: Prof. Richard Nichols (University of Liverpool);
Prof. CeZhou Zhao (Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University)
Open until the position is filled
Funded PhD project (world-wide students)
Project Title
Use of novel
substrates for
Suitable candidates should be self-motivated and have a strong chemistry
background. Applicants with a BSc qualification equivalent to first class or Upper
second class honour degree or an MSc degree in chemistry, surface physics or
related disciplines are welcomed. Evidence of good spoken and written English is
essential. The candidate should have IELTS score of 6.5 and above, or the equivalent
qualification, if the first language is not English. Supervision as well as resulting
publications and thesis will be in English. This position is open to all qualified students
irrespective of nationality. Background in analytical chemistry, surface physics, single
molecule electronics and/or experience with using scanning tunneling microscope
(STM) will be advantageous.
The student will be awarded a PhD degree from the University of Liverpool upon
successful completion of the program and submission of a doctoral thesis.
The PhD studentship is available for three years subject to satisfactory progression
and performance by the student. The award covers tuition fees for three years
(equivalent to RMB 60,000 per annum) and also provides a monthly stipend of 3000
RMB, conditional upon undertaking a teaching assistant role at XJTLU. Funds are
also available for attending the international conferences. The student is expected to
carry out the major part of the research at XJTLU (Suzhou, China). However, the
student will also have the opportunity to carry out part of the research work at
University of Liverpool (UK).
Project Description:
Incorporation of single molecules or groups of molecules into electronic devices holds
great promise for decreasing the size and increasing the packing-density of emerging
nano-electronic systems. Electronic components at the molecular level as well as
taking advantage of their small size, could utilize their electronic properties and
structural diversity to increase device density and enhance device functionality
beyond present limits. To develop this promising field of molecular electronics leading
edge measurements are needed into the electronic properties of single molecules
with electrical junctions and model devices. To date most single molecule electronics
measurements have focused on the use of gold contacts. However, it is now
important that single molecule electronics research addresses the challenge of other
contact materials which will have impact in the eventual implementation of molecular
electronics. In this respect gold has a number of drawbacks; including its
non-compatibility with complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)
technologies, its mobility and also expense. Replacing gold electrodes in the
proposed study is aimed towards providing cost effective and industrially scalable
materials for integrated single molecule electronics beyond the current limits of
miniaturization. The aim of this project is to develop the use of novel substrates for
single molecule electronic devices. Many challenges will be addressed in this project,
including the development of substrates and STM methods for single molecule
measurements suited to these substrates, the evaluation of appropriate terminal
chemical group for binding to these substrates, achieving reproducible contacts and
stable junctions and measuring temperature-dependent conductance and
electrochemical properties for these new device configurations.
How to Apply
Interested applicants are advised to email the following documents to
[email protected]
Two reference letters
Personal statement outlining your interest in the position
Proof of English language proficiency (an IELTS score of above 6.5 or
comparable) is required
Verified school transcripts in both Chinese and English (for international
student, only the English version is required)
Verified certificates of education qualifications in both Chinese and English (for
international student, only the English version is required)
We will acknowledge all applications by email. Should you have any questions or
queries regarding your application, please feel free to contact us.
Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr. Li Yang ([email protected]), whose
personal profile is linked below,

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