FILLED - PhD (ESR6) Synthesis of ligands and polymers for application in organic solar cells

Job summary

Job type:
Full time
According to EU regulation
Apply before:
April, 15 2012

About this job

PhD location

Aston University – U.K.

Starting date

1st September 2012

Description of work

The fellow will be synthesising ligands and polymeric ligands for use in OSCs using highly skilled laboratory techniques. The fellow will also use a range of characterisation and computer modelling techniques to analyse and characterise these unique materials and to assess their interactions with target substrates.
The successful candidate will spend the majority of their time in the laboratory synthesising and characterising new ligands and polymeric ligands at the Host institution in Aston. Co-hosting (8 months) at IMEDA (Madrid) will focus on using molecular dynamic and/or cluster model calculations to determine ligand interactions. A one month placement at the Université de Pau will focus on generating C60-based materials whilst a month secondment at Konarka will place the Fellow in an industrial setting to produce OSC devices using her/his own materials and will complete the multi-disciplinary training of the Fellow.

Research objectives:

  • Synthesise ligands and polymeric ligands for application in organic solar cells
  • Use computer modelling to understand the interactions of the ligands and polymeric ligands with their target substrates


Synthesise and characterise a series of ligands and polymeric ligands
Characterise these materials using a range of analytical techniques, NMR, MS, IR GPC etc.
Model the interaction of the ligands and polymeric ligands with their target substrates
Evaluate the new ligands and/or polymeric ligands in real OSC devices


The successful candidate will receive scientific training in:

  • Small molecule & polymer synthesis and characterisation
  • Physical characterisation
  • Molecular dynamic and/or cluster model calculations
  • Device manufacture and processing

S/he will also receive complementary training in field such as career development, public outreach, communication, entrepreneurial skills, financial and project management, scientific writing, and other career relevant skills. The PhD Fellow is expected to actively participate in workshops, Summer Schools and conference organised by the ESTABLIS network.

Additional modules of scientific relevance will be provided by the Host Doctorial School along with appropriate language training where necessary.


  • A Cotutelle PhD from both Aston University and the University of Madrid
  • 3 Year full time position
  • Salary will be according to EU regulations (i.e., up to around 40 k€ pa gross)
  • Possible short stays (< 1 month) with the Associate Partners AMCOR, EVONIK, and SIEMENS.


Applicants must have, or be expected to receive, prior to the 1st September 2012 the equivalent of a degree in chemistry that will allow them to register for a PhD at Aston University and IMDEA.
The candidate should have:

  • A sound background in the use of synthetic organic and polymer chemistry
  • Experience in computer modeling and/or physical chemistry would be advantageous
  • Good spoken and written English and excellent communication skills are expected

The applicant can be of any nationality but must, as of the 1st September 2012:

  • Not already have a PhD;
  • Have less that 4 years full-time research experience
  • Not have carried out their main activity in U.K. for more than 12 months in the last 3 years from the starting date of the fellowship.

Main evaluation criteria

  • Skills of the Fellow
  • Motivation for the project ESTABLIS and the science and training proposed
  • Willingness to travel, exchange across preconceived scientific barriers and participate in
  • Complementary training activities
  • Prior experience and publications if any


Welcomed discussions concerning the position should be directed to:

  • Dr Andrew Sutherland (Responsible Supervisor) (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ),
  • Dr Larry Luer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

How to apply

Please submit a curriculum vitae (CV), a cover letter and the names and e-mail addresses of two referees preferably using the application form on ESTABLIS Website ( The recruitment will be carried out in the line with the European Charter of Researcher and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Deadline for application:

15th of April 2012 or until post filled.

Please note that all posts are extremely well-coveted, 
therefore we urge you to get your application in early!