(Ref. No. DI – 02) PhD: Hybrid Molecule/Nanocrystal Assemblies for Plasmonic Sensing Applications
A funded PhD position is currently available on the development of hybrid organic molecule/nanocrystal assemblies for optical determination of transition metal ions in water matrices, within the Nanotechnology group starting from September 2010.
Metal nanocrystals have recently been employed as sensing probes alternative to organic fluorescent dyes. Usually, metal nanocrystal detection is based on analyte-induced but non analyte-specific response like (i) colour change associated with nanocrystal aggregation upon analyte binding or (ii) plasmon resonance wavelength shift associated with a change in refractive index upon analyte binding. More recently the concept of Plasmon Resonance Energy Transfer (PRET) has been used for demonstration of recognition of inorganic or biological molecules adsorbed on metal nanocrystals. In order for PRET to occur, specific spectral conditions and distance between the analyte-nanocrystal couple have to be satisfied. Potential sensor devices based on PRET mechanisms would therefore exhibit selectivity and sensitivity higher than plasmonic sensors, due to detection of a spectral change specific to the target analyte.
This project will focus on:
1. Synthesis of metal nano-materials with visible-near infrared (NIR) tunable optical properties.
2. Development of coupling protocols for fabrication of hybrid organic/inorganic assemblies.
3. Optical properties (in particular plasmonic properties) of developed assemblies.
4. Characterisation and assessment of hybrid assemblies sensing abilities towards transition metal ions.
5. Demonstration of sensing performances with water matrices and on device test structures.
Applications are invited from scientists who hold (or expect to obtain before September 2010) a first or second class honours undergraduate degree in chemistry, physics, materials science, biochemistry, or a closely related discipline.
The successful student will receive training in all research methods required, and will work alongside experienced professional researchers within the nanotechnology group, attend conferences and publish in high impact journals. The research is supported by a suite of equipment and laboratory facilities within the group that are amongst the best in Europe. The research is conducted in close collaboration with industrial and academic partners, therefore the successful candidate will avail of additional training in partner institutions.
For further information on this position, please contact Dr. Daniela Iacopino, Nanotechnology Group, Tyndall National Institute (Email: Daniela.email@example.com group webpage: www.tyndall.ie/nanotech).
To apply for this position, please send your current curriculum vitae, listing academic results to date and details of any previous laboratory experience, together with a cover letter containing the names of two referees, to: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference number DI – 02.
At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.
Tyndall National Institute is an Equal Opportunities Employer.