FILLED - PhD (ESR7) Synthesis of polymers and copolymers 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

Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry department – Aston University – UK

Starting date

1st September 2012

Description of work

The Fellow will be synthesising novel copolymers for use in OSCs using highly skilled laboratory techniques. Subsequently, the fellow will use microscopy and spectroscopic techniques to construct the phase diagram for such materials.
The successful candidate will spend the vast majority of their time in the laboratory synthesising new polymers at the Host institution in Aston. Co-hosting (8 months) at Hereaus will place the Fellow in an industrial setting to produce small scale OSC devices using her/his own materials produced at Aston. A one month placement at Merck and a month secondment at the Universite de Pau to develop conductive polymers will also be undertaken to complete the multi-disciplinary training of the Fellow.

The main research objectives are to:

  • Develop polymers and copolymers for application in OSCs
  • Construct solid state phase diagrams for the novel copolymer materials


Synthesise and characterise a new family of copolymers of varying molecular weights
Characterise their nanoscale morphology under varying processing conditions
Evaluate the new polymers in real OSC devices


The successful candidate will receive scientific training in:

  • small molecule & polymer synthesis and characterisation
  • physical characterisation
  • 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.


  • 3 Year full time position
  • Salary will be according to EU regulations
  • 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 of September 2012 the equivalent of a degree in chemistry that will allow them to register for a PhD at Aston University.
  • The candidate should have a sound background in
  • The use of synthetic chemistry;
  • Experience in physical chemistry would be advantageous;
  • Good spoken and written English and excellent communication skills.

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 the 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 Paul D. Topham (PhD Supervisor - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ),
  • Dr Wilfried Lövenich (PhD co-supervisor - 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!