PhD/MSc studentship (Prof. Steve Langford and Dr. Emily Goh Joo Kheng)

Project Title: Inclusion Strategies Using Cucurbiturils for Forming Optoelectronic Devices

Description of the project:

Supramolecular chemistry provides scientists and material engineers with a paradigm to explore highly functional molecular assemblies and arrays using the principles of Nature. This project aims to explore the use of non-covalent interactions, to prepare novel molecular architectures based on the porphyrin periphery that will improve the overall efficiency of photo-induced charge separation processes and to develop sensors and switches as a contribution to breakthrough science.

This research aims to use molecular recognition to assemble complex systems for new materials research, in particular solar energy conversion. Understanding the factors that govern light induced electron transfer in molecular systems contribute to the development of new photovoltaics and solar fuels, and will aid our understanding of what is important to develop cheap and sustainable energy alternatives.  

Our approach is to use the affinity of cucurbiturils with aromatic systems to form supramolecular ensembles and arrays that self organise into defined geometries. Individual components will be designed and synthesised using a convergent pathway that allows both fine tuning of the properties, and also a rapid response to testing that provides feedback to the optimal structure. The complexes and arrays will be characterised by spectroscopic methods and where possible, their structure will be elucidated by x-ray crystallography. Once the structure and its stoichiometry is established, time resolved and steady state measurements will be conducted to determine the rate and length of charge separation. 


The candidate should hold a B.Sc (Hons) degree and MUST be a Malaysian citizen in order to be eligible for stipend support. Strong preference will be given to applicants with proven expertise in organic chemistry who are highly motivated and proven to work independently with minimal supervision.

To apply:

Please email your CV and 2 letters of references (at least one must be from an immediate supervisor) explicitly addressing the criteria above. Only qualified candidates will be contacted to schedule for an interview.

E-mail: or

For PhD and English requirements, please refer to this link: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

For MSc and English requirements, please refer to this link: Master of Science (MSc)