Projects Available

The following projects are available for prospective DPhil students:

Deposition of organic an inorganic layers on polymer substrates by roll-to-roll coating in vacuum

Prof. Hazel Assender

The project will make use of our roll-to-roll polymer web coater to deposit under vacuum acrylate or other organic layers on polymer substrates, followed by evaporation or magnetron sputtering deposition of thin film inorganic layers such as metals or oxides. The resulting materials will then be characterized using a suite of methods. Possible applications include optical coatings, gas barrier films (often for electronics applications), or flexible electronics.

Phase separation and self-ordering in thin film polymers

Prof. Hazel Assender

The project will examine phase separation and self-ordering processes and morphological changes in thin film polymers, comparing the processes and kinetics in thin film systems with those in the bulk. The work will consider the effect of substrate interactions as well as processing characteristics on the resulting structures.

High gas barrier layers for encapsulation of flexible electronics

Prof. Hazel Assender

High performance transparent gas barrier layers are required for the encapsulation of air-sensitive elements of many flexible device technologies. Recent experiments in our group have demonstrated the important role of nano-scale defects in the barrier layers that contribute to the overall transport of water vapour through the encapsulation. This project will utilize our recent developments in Ca test characterization to better understand the transport of water vapour through layered structures under a range of temperature and humidity environments, exploring both the fundementals of what controls of water vapour transport in polymer and composite layered materials, and the key transport processes, linked with the materials microstructure, in novel composite films generated both within this project and from elsewhere.

Application of microphase separation for manufacture of flexible devices

Prof. Hazel Assender

Microphase separating systems have long been explored as a way to induce very fine patterns in a thin film. This project seeks to exploit this effect by selective surface energy and additive inclusion in one block. There a number of options to explore, including the incorporation of nanoparticles into one phase, and the commensurate influence of this on microstructure, and the application of microphase separation for topographical or local surface energy control e.g. by exploiting differences in molecular mobility or solvent retention with the ultimate ambition to create adaptive surfaces.

Also see a full listing of New projects available within the Department of Materials.

Prospective graduate students can also consider projects available through the CDT in plastic electronics in a partnership between Oxford and Imperial College London. CDT in Plastic Electronics