PhD Studentship Synthesis of New Chromophors to Use in Optoelectronic Applications

University of Southampton, UK is inviting excellent students to apply for a PhD position in organic chemistry. The funds for this position are available for 5 years. The deadline to apply is July 31, 2019.

Gas sensing plays a key role in enabling many different technologies used to monitor the emissions from different sources. Photonic gas sensors exhibit unique advantages of building a CMOS-compatible, cost-effective, and portable sensing system fully integrated on a single chip. In order to transmit data efficiently between sensors, so far electrically driven modulation relies on un-efficient refractive index change resulting from the modulation of carrier density in silicon either by carrier depletion, injection or accumulation. In nonlinear optical (NLO) polymers however, the electro-optic (EO) effect originates from the electronic hyperpolarisability of the organic molecules, which allows extremely high modulation speeds. Furthermore, molecular engineering of organic molecules can lead to extremely high Pockels-coefficients in polymers exceeding 10 times the value available in the lithium-niobate, the industrial standard inorganic material used in optical data transmission application. Photonic devices based on a hybrid material system merging silicon and polymer are therefore attractive since they combine the strong light confining abilities of silicon with the superior NLO properties of polymers, thereby enabling extremely fast modulation, ultra-low driving power and small geometric footprint that will enable the generation of optical transceivers and data transfer between remote sensing platforms.

The PhD consists in the synthesis and development of the monomers required for EO and the preparation of the polymers that will be tested in several Photonic Devices in collaboration with the research group of Professor Frederic Gardes.

This PhD provides a unique opportunity for a chemistry student not only to be trained in the state-on-art of Organic Chemistry but also to work in real applications of the molecules synthesised having a close inside in the needs of UK optical industry, maximising the employability after the PhD.

Moreover, this position will give the opportunity to interact with different fields and collaborate with other research projects that are ongoing in our laboratory.

For these reasons a highly motivated hard/working student with a strong background in Synthetic Organic Chemistry is required.

The project is funded for 3.5 years and welcomes applicants from the UK and EU who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in Chemistry. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates per annum (201920 rates are 15,009).

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK students who meet the RCUK eligibility criteria

Applications for a PhD in Chemistry should be submitted online at

Please ensure you select the academic session 2019-20 when making your application in the academic year field and click on the Research radio button.

General enquiries should be made to Ramon Rios Torres at Any queries on the application process should be made to

Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified

Nature Photonics 8, 229-233 (2014) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2014.9


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