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Research Associate in Surface-initiated Polymerisation

Job Reference Number: UOS040352
Contract Type: Fixed-term for 26 months to end 31 October 2026
Faculty: Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield
Salary: Grade 7 £37,099 - £45,585 per annum pro-rata.
Closing Date: 14
th April 2024


For more information and to apply visit:, job reference number: UOS040352

Do you enjoy exciting, cross-disciplinary research?

We have an opening for a polymer chemist within a team of 15 researchers spread across the Universities of Sheffield, Bristol and Exeter working on a £7.3 M collaborative project funded by EPSRC and led by Prof Graham Leggett.

The aim of our five-year programme is to develop a new modular approach to the creation of photonic materials, inspired by structures found in biological photosynthetic membranes. Our cross-disciplinary team has expertise that spans synthetic biology, photosynthesis, synthetic chemistry, nanotechnology, polymer science, plasmonics, molecular physics physics and theory.

Your role, based in Sheffield and working closely with Professor Steve Armes FRS and Prof Graham Leggett, will be to design synthetic pigment-polymer antenna complexes for incorporation into molecular photonic breadboards, and to work collaboratively with other team members to explore their photophysical properties. Synthetic polymer scaffolds will be grown using surface-initiated atom-transfer radical polymerisation (SI-ATRP) and used to organise chromophores in 3D. You will develop solution-processing routes for the production of quantum optical materials, and design sensors for use in early detection of cancer that utilise strong light-matter coupling.

Educated to PhD level in chemistry, physics or materials science, or with equivalent experience, you will have experience of surface-initiated polymerisation, preferably SI-ATRP, including familiarity with methods for the characterisation of polymer brushes. A passion for working as a member of a team is essential.

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