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Open Positions

Seeking qualified applicants for a fully funded four-year PhD position to start in September 2018 on:

Formation and Properties of Novel Porphyrin Functionalised Nanoribbons:
Towards Integrated Nanoribbon Electronics

Project Description

This project is on the investigation of novel nanostructures that incorporate functional metal-porphyrin molecules into graphene nanoribbons producing novel porphyrin functionalised nanoribbons (Por-fGNR), formed via on-surface bottom-up self-assembly methods driven via to thermal chemical dissociation, diffusion and reaction mechanisms. Essentially this results in connecting "wires" to a multifunctional class of porphyrin molecules, whose individual functionality differs according to the transition metal ion in the porphyrin macrocycle (c.f. heme (Fe-Por) and chlorophyll (Mg-Por) molecules). The strategies by which TM-Por-fGNR growth and properties can be optimised will be studied through combinations of in-situ optical, ultraviolet and x-ray spectroscopies to measure their electronic structure, aided by surface probe microscopies (STM) and supported by computational theoretical methods (DFT) to calculate electronic structure and transport through these nanostructures. The objective is to then evaluate these in device architectures as future TM-Por-fGNR-FET sensors or molecular electronics devices.

Trinity College Dublin has launched 40 fully funded PhD positions across a wide variety of disciplines. The 40 Provost's PhD Project Awards are open to EU and Non-EU candidates and include an annual stipend of €16,000 for four years. These doctoral awards are generously funded through alumni donations and Trinity's Commercial Revenue Unit.


The successful candidate will be highly self-motivated, having a first class or upper-second class honours degree from an Irish university, or equivalent from another country, in any of Physics, Material Science, Nanoscience or Chemistry, with a strong interest in surface science and/or self-assembled nanostructures. An M.Sc. in a related area would be an advantage. A high level of written and oral communication skills in English is essential.

Knowledge and Experience

(Essential and Desirable)
  • Experience in one or more of surface science, ultra-high vacuum systems, organic materials, scanning probe microscopies, graphene and/or x-ray spectroscopy (desirable)
  • Experience conducting research in surface science, photonics, developing sensors or organic devices (desired)
  • Excellent English writing skills (essential)

Skills and Competencies

  • Highly skilled competent experimenter (essential)
  • Experimental design (essential)
  • One or more of Labview, Matlab, Mathematica, Origin (desired)
  • Electrical device measurements (desired)
  • Computational modelling (desired)

PhD Studentships:

Stipend: €16,000 per annum for 4 years in addition to tuition fees. Funding is available for Irish, EU and non-EU students.

How to Apply:

Prospective candidates should send a detailed CV, a covering letter outlining their educational background, research interests and motivations, transcript of your marks if available, and the names and contact details of two academic referees to Professor Cormac McGuinness with subject heading "Provosts project TCD" as soon as possible, as still considering applications, but the position will be filled in June 2018.


This project is in collaboration with A. A. Cafolla (Physics, DCU); M. O. Senge (Chemistry, TCD); S. Sanvito (Physics, TCD); A. P. Preobrajenski (MAXIV/ Lund, Sweden); A. Sweetman (Leeds, UK); and D. R. T. Zahn (Chemnitz, Germany)


Non-native English speaking applicants:

All applicants whose first language is not English and who have not been educated through the medium of English must present one of the following qualifications in the English language to be eligible for registration in the University: •IELTS: Grade 6.5 overall; • TOEFL: 88 internet-based, 570 paper-based, 230 computer-based; • University of Cambridge: either Proficiency Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2) or Advanced Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2); • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE Academic: a minimum score of 63 to be eligible (with no section score below 59). Please note that test scores are only valid for 2 years.