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PhD-Laser induced graphene materials for VOC sensing

MBU-01 PhD-Laser induced graphene materials for VOC sensing

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

Long term exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in indoor environments has been recently been highlighted as a significant threat to human health. Both in the workplace and at home, VOC sensors for indoor air-quality (IAQ) monitoring are rapidly being adopted into connected devices for improved health monitoring. Increased demand for improved response time, enhanced selectivity and lower cost remain the technological market drivers. Within this remit, an opportunity exists for a highly motivated PhD student in the Nanotechnology group at Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork.

As part of the Science Foundation Ireland funded SFI centre CONFIRM, the PhD will develop the next generation of novel sensing materials for VOC applications. Key research themes will include development, fabrication and characterisation of Laser induced graphene (LIG), resistive and capacitive based sensor platforms.

The PhD will also develop state of the art experimental and analytical techniques including machine learning methods to permit the recognition of defined VOC patterns against complex VOCs background environments.

Key Responsibilities

This is a PhD position of 48-month duration. The responsibilities will include:

  • Fabrication, characterization and surface functionalization of novel laser induced graphene/metal oxide semiconductor composite materials.
  • Development and characterisation of resistive and capacitive based VOC transducers.
  • Development and characterisation of novel micro heater platforms.
  • Integration of micro heater and VOC transducers.
  • Development of machine learning algorithms for VOC recognition.
  • Demonstration of VOC sensing for air quality monitoring.

Essential Criteria

  • The successful candidate for this position will have a BSc or an MSc in a relevant field e.g. materials science, nanotechnology, nanoscience or chemistry.
  • The candidate should be able to work independently, and have excellent theoretical and experimental skills.
  • Fluent command of English is required as demonstrated by high-quality written communication.
  • Knowledge or experience in fabrication or characterisation of laser induced graphene devices.
  • Knowledge of electrical (I-V, C-V) and electrochemical characterisation techniques.

Desirable Criteria

  • Enthusiasm and scientific curiosity.
  • Knowledge, or willingness to learn, to conduct measurements of volatile organic compounds.
  • Ability to work in a team environment.
  • High motivation with excellent organizational and communications skills.
  • Experience with materials science characterization tools (e.g., optical and electron microscopy, infrared/Raman spectroscopy)
  • Willingness to work on a variety of projects and learn new techniques.
  • Demonstrated fundamental verbal and written communication skills necessary to work in a multidisciplinary team environment, author technical and scientific reports and publications, and deliver scientific presentations.

An annual student stipend of €18,000.00 applies for this successful candidate for this position.  Yearly University academic fees will paid by the Tyndall National Institute.

Application Instructions

Step 1 - click here to download the Application form and indicate the Job reference MBU-01.

Step 2 - return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.