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An unsolved grand challenge has been to develop design rules for the long-range transport of excitons. Our goal is to solve this grand challenge.

Four Postdoctoral Positions in Ultrafast Spectroscopy, Strong Plasmon-Exciton Coupling, Biophysics and Nanoscale Chemistry to develop Molecular Photonic Breadboards

Open for applications now at:

Faculty of Science in The University of Sheffield

All posts fixed term for two years

Grade 7 - £36,333 to £44,414 per annum (pro-rata), with potential to progress to £48,423.

Closing date for applications: 18 June 2023

Four Postdoctoral Positions in Ultrafast Spectroscopy, Strong Plasmon-Exciton Coupling, Biophysics and Nanoscale Chemistry to develop Molecular Photonic Breadboards

Do you enjoy exciting, cross-disciplinary and cutting-edge research?

We invite applications for four postdoctoral positions, tenable for up to two years in the first instance, as part of a £7.25 M collaborative project funded by EPSRC and led by Prof G. J. Leggett. You will join a team of six other postdoctoral researchers and five PhD students across the Universities of Sheffield, Bristol and Exeter with lead investigators in Chemistry (Prof S. P. Armes FRS, Prof J. Weinstein and Prof N. H. Williams (Sheffield)), Biology (Prof C. N. Hunter FRS (Sheffield) and Prof D. N. Woolfson (Bristol)), Physics (Dr J. Clark, (Sheffield) and Prof W. L. Barnes (Exeter)) and the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Prof D. W. Lambert).

The aim of our five-year programme is to develop a new, modular approach for the creation of photonic materials, inspired by biological photosynthetic membranes. We call this approach 'molecular photonic breadboards': minimal units - synthetic antenna complexes - are designed from scratch to organise molecular components precisely in space. These building blocks are assembled to form nanostructured films. We will exploit the exciting new physics of strong light-matter coupling, and seek to control energy transfer pathways from the nm to the cm scale. Our goal is to lay the foundations for a revolution in the design of molecular photonic materials.

Below are brief descriptions of the four posts each available for two years in the first instance, with the possibility of further extension in the future.

To apply, please visit our University of Sheffield jobs page: and search for the following job references:

  • Post 1 - Job reference UOS037260: Research Associate in Strong Light-Matter Coupling. A physical scientist with experience of plasmonics and, preferably, strong light-matter coupling. In collaboration with other team members, you will be responsible for the measurement of plasmon-exciton coupling in films of synthetic antenna complexes, consisting of synthetic polymers and peptides grafted to metal nanostructures, and modelling of optical spectra.

  • Post 2 - Job reference UOS037261: Research Associate in Surface Chemistry and Nanofabrication. A physical scientist with expertise in optical and spectroscopic characterisation of surfaces and/or nanofabrication. Working with other team members, you will characterise the optical properties and structures of synthetic antenna complexes, and lead the integration of top-down and bottom-up fabrication methods in the design of plexcitonic films.

  • Post 3 - Job reference UOS037262: Research Associate in Excitation Transfer in Antenna Complexes. A biochemist/biophysicist/spectroscopist with expertise in the photophysics of biological systems. You will be responsible for measuring excited state lifetimes and mapping excitation transfer in films of photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes and synthetic antenna complexes.

  • Post 4 - Job reference UOS037263: Research Associate in Tracking Energy Transfer using Ultrafast Spectroscopy. An spectroscopist with expertise in time-resolved IR and ultrafast electronic spectroscopy to delve into the detailed photophysics of synthetic antenna complexes. You will characterise excitonic energy transfer pathways both within and between molecules and develop design rules for efficient long-range energy transfer.

The Universities of Sheffield, Exeter and Bristol are some of the best not-for-profit organisations to work for in the UK. The University’s Total Reward Package includes a competitive salary, a generous Pension Scheme and annual leave entitlement, as well as access to a range of learning and development courses to support your personal and professional development.


We build teams of people from different heritages and lifestyles from across the world, whose talent and contributions complement each other to greatest effect. We believe diversity in all its forms delivers greater impact through research, teaching and student experience.


To find out what makes the University of Sheffield a remarkable place to work, watch this short film:, and follow @sheffielduni and @ShefUniJobs on Twitter for more information.​

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