Soft matter is at the core of modern technology, as well as of the living organisms. We explore how the self-organising nature of materials, such as liquid crystals and photovoltaic films, can be manipulated by light, structured geometries and nanoparticles. Our experimental investigations are accompanied by new mathematical approaches and models to pave the way to innovative, photonics based components and tools to characterise soft matter.




PhD positions available

Taming disorder on nanoscale

Regularity is a feature of human constructs, from the intricate patterns in the Alhambra or in the book of Kells, to the silicon highways of the processor that powers a smart phone. However, regularity on the nanoscale is either extremely costly or unachievable with current technology. This is a serious problem because the ability to structure materials on that scale offers the tantalising prospect of not only exploring new fundamental effects, but also giving them incredible mechanical or optical properties. This project is designed for an enterprising student who is keen to study foundational theoretical data science methods guided by significant potential applications. The project will employ topological data analysis together with modelling and machine learning techniques to quantify structures emerging in apparently disordered nanomaterials. We will also be interested in classifying their response in interaction with light. The successful applicant will be a member of an interdisciplinary team in Mathematics and Physics.

 Interested candidates should contact Professor Malgosia Kaczmarek.