PhD Position in Continuous Flow Synthesis of Perovskite Nanoparticles for Optoelectronic Applications

University of Southampton School of Physics and Astronomy

PhD Studentship - Continuous flow synthesis of perovskite nanoparticles for optoelectronic applications

Quantum, Light & Matter Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Sunday 31 July 2022
Reference:  1779822WF

Supervisory Team:    Prof. Antonios Kanaras/Prof. Xunli Zhang

Project description

Nanomaterials are employed in several fields of science ranging from biomedicine and the development of new diagnostic methods, to physics and engineering and the fabrication of novel devices for energy conversion and storage. The major reason for the vast range of applications of nanomaterials is the ability to easily tune their magnetic, optical, electrical, catalytic and mechanical properties, characteristic for different materials, by varying nanoparticles’ shape, size and chemical composition. 

Halide perovskites is a particular type of materials which have intrinsic optoelectronic properties.  Chemical protocols to synthesize halide perovskite nanoparticles have been recently established and these types of nanoparticles have strong potential for applications in LEDs, photovoltaic devices, batteries and sensors. Nowadays, the most common type of perovskite nanoparticles have high photoluminescence (PL) quantum yields (QYs), even without specific surface treatments, and their optical emission can be modified by changing their composition, either during the synthesis or by post-synthesis anion/cation exchange. Currently, chemical processes to synthesize such nanoparticles are mostly carried out in batch reactor systems, which suffer from significant drawbacks to achieve desired geometry-dependent properties mainly due to the lack of controllability over the reaction microenvironment. 

In our engineering laboratories, we have developed advanced flow reactor systems for the synthesis of a range of nanoparticles with controllable geometries produced in a continuous-flow format. Compared to traditional batch methods, flow reactors have shown advantages, such as precise control over the transport of fluids, chemical species and heat, leading to controllable product properties. 

The aim of this PhD project will be to develop flow synthesis methods for the continuous manufacturing of various types of halide perovskite nanoparticles, with enhanced optoelectronic properties that could be meaningful for industrial applications such as optical displays and biosensing.  

The project will be jointly supervised by Prof. Xunli Zhang, a Professor of Bioengineering and Microcystems and Director of Chemical Engineering, and Prof. Antonios Kanaras, a Professor of Nanotechnology and the Head of Functional Nanomaterials and Applications Lab.

The successful candidate will gain expertise in the chemical synthesis and surface functionalization of perovskite nanoparticles, and their physicochemical characterization, using a vast range of techniques including electron and confocal microscopy. They will also gain expertise in the development of flow synthesis reactors for large scale production and automated optoelectronic characteirzation. Desired qualifications include previous experience in nanomaterial chemical synthesis and construction of flow reactors. Candidates should have a degree in one of the following disciplines: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Nanotechnology, or Material Science. 

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: 31 July 2022 

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £16,062 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.  Self-funded students are welcome to apply

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2022/23, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD  Physics (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Antonios Kanaras 

Applications should include: 

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: