[Neutron] PhD Studentship in Surfactant-Polymer Interactions inNanostructured Thin Films

King, SM (Stephen) S.M.King at rl.ac.uk
Thu Nov 30 13:38:31 CST 2006

PhD Studentship in Surfactant-Polymer Interactions in Nanostructured Thin Films

An EPSRC funded studentship is available jointly supervised by Dr Karen Edler and Dr Gareth Price in the Chemistry Department at the University of Bath. It is open to UK and EU students only, to start in early 2007 (preferably Jan or Feb). Applicants should have, or be about to receive, a First or Upper Second (2:1) UK Honours or Masters degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, or another Physical Science.

Nanostructured materials are a rapidly growing area of materials chemistry. This project will involve studying and developing novel thin films which form spontaneously at the surface of polymer and surfactant solutions and quickly become solid membranes that can be removed from the surface in one piece. The films contain a very well ordered nanostructured array of surfactant micelles, and it is possible to put hydrophobic molecules (such as drugs) into the interior of the surfactant micelles and thus trap them in the films. This project will investigate the role of the surfactant in preparing the films, and the nanostructures formed by different surfactants in the films. A linked postdoctoral position will study the polymer component of the membranes. Potential applications of these films include use in wound dressings for slow release of drug molecules so the student will also study incorporation of drug molecules into the films, and their release from the films under appropriate conditions.

These investigations will use a range of techniques to characterise nanoscale structures (small angle neutron and X-ray scattering, and reflectivity, electron microscopy, light scattering, AFM) and techniques to characterise the encapsulation and release of drug molecules in the films (spectroscopy, HPLC). Most of these techniques are available in-house but the project will also use neutron scattering and synchrotron X-ray scattering at facilities in the UK and France.

Please contact Dr Edler for further details at K.Edler at bath.ac.uk 

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