PhD position in single-molecule chemical physics

We seek to recruit a PhD student in the field of scanning probe control of single molecules supervised by Dr Peter A. Sloan of the Nanoscience group and the Centre for Graphene Science at the University of Bath.

The ability of the scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to control matter at the atomic level has led to the building of atomic scale structures from the bottom by 'simply' pushing the atoms or molecules across a surface. The STM can also manipulate molecules through electronic excitation to induce molecular movement. All these modes of manipulation require the tip of the STM to be exactly placed on top the target atom or molecule. This PhD project aims to explore the dramatic recent finding of nonlocal atomic manipulation; molecules at some distance, a few 100 Å, from the STM tip can be induced to react to the injected current.

This dicovery is still fresh and many open questions remain regarding this novel technique: can this manipulation be enhanced by tuning the properties of the molecule? What is the role of temperature, or of dopant? Can we use electric fields within the surface to probe and explore the current that flows out onto the surface, e.g., the lifetime and mobility of the surface current? Is this effect specific to a particular silicon surface, is it observed for other orientations or even graphene?

Experiments will be performed with state-of-the-art scanning probe microscopes (STM and AFM) at the University of Bath with collaborations with University of Birmingham.

Funding Notes:

Applicants should have a background in the physical sciences and have or expect to gain a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent from an overseas University. Possible funding sources include the Doctoral Training Account (for UK applicants); for exceptional overseas candidates, a University studentship or a Faculty scholarship.


Contact Dr Peter A. Sloan ( for further information on the project.

Apply online at

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