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Funded PhD Opportunity

Surface chemical kinetics with low temperature atmospheric pressure plasmas: for plasma-medicine applications in cancer treatment

Subject: Engineering


Our work seeks to understand, control and advance the science and technology of low temperature plasmas at atmospheric pressure for the synthesis of high performance nanomaterials and/or the treatment of liquids and aerosols for biomedical applications. Recently we were awarded a major research council grant A multi-function XPS-UPS system with load-locked advanced sample preparation stages which will allow us to purchase a state of the art XPS-UPS high resolution surface analysis system (see .

Uniquely, this system will have a custom plasma chamber attached where processed samples can be immediately transferred to the ultra-high vacuum analysis chamber with exposure to environmental contamination.

A special feature will be the ability to expose liquids to plasma and then freeze and transfer to the analysis chamber where the fast reactions in liquid, cells or biomolecules, due to plasma-induced chemistry, e.g. hydroxyl radical irradiation, can be precisely studied for the very first time. This could have tremendous impact in the new field of plasma medicine where novel treatments for cancer or antibiotic wound healing are being researched. If you are interested in finding out more about the work of the Plasma and Nanoscale Group, you can find our papers here, many are open access.

This is a flexible project specification and students with an interest in plasma – liquid studies or nanomaterials for application in plasma-medicine are welcome to apply. We are keen to receive applications from students with a degree in any of the following: Physics, Chemistry, Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Materials, Engineering.

Essential criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)


    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of £14,777 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 19 November 2018

Interview Date
12 December 2018

Contact supervisor

Professor Paul Maguire

Other supervisors


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