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Spectroscopy of Conducting Polymers Summer Placement

Science and Technology Facilities Council

The ISIS Neutron & Muon Source is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Our suite of neutron and muon instruments gives unique insights into the properties of materials at the atomic scale. We support a national and international community of more than 3000 scientists for research into subjects ranging from clean energy and the environment, pharmaceuticals and health care, through to nanotechnology and materials engineering, catalysis and polymers and on to fundamental studies of materials!

The Molecular Spectroscopy Group at ISIS develops and operates four neutron spectrometers that, between them, span an energy range equivalent to the microwave to the vacuum ultraviolet in the electromagnetic spectrum. They are used to study systems as diverse as the diffusion of biomolecules, to characterise drugs, how molecules bind to catalysts and quantum effects in materials, to name a few.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities

One area of active study is polymers, particularly those used for solar energy harvesting. Many of these are based on polythiophene and when doped with iodine, the material becomes conducting. However, iodine doping changes the optical properties making it difficult to study with conventional forms of vibrational spectroscopy (infrared and Raman). These limitations are readily overcome with the use of neutron vibrational spectroscopy (inelastic neutron scattering, INS). Over the last few years a large body of data has been acquired of polythiophene and some thiophene oligomers, both in the pristine and the iodine doped state. The aim of this placement is to finish this project.

Responsibilities will include:

Measure infrared and Raman spectra of the iodine-doped thiophene oligomers to complete the data set. This may also require preparing the samples Collate the spectra (INS, Raman, infrared) and hence generate publication quality figures. Participate in the analysis of the spectra and creation of the first draft of a publication

Are you looking for a placement based on site? This 4-8 week project will be based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire so that you can gain a comprehensive understanding of three forms of vibrational spectroscopy and co-authored a publication!

In order to apply for this placement, you need to meet the following criteria:


Are in full time education at university and returning to university/studies following the placement The right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the placement Knowledge and understanding of polymers Understanding of spectroscopy


Practical laboratory experience Use of infrared and/or Raman spectroscopy

You are advised to submit your application as soon as possible as we reserve the right to close this vacancy once we have received sufficient applications.

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

The STFC is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering. Our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we’re trusted to support, enable and undertake ground-breaking projects in an outstanding diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving progressive advances in science, engineering, computing and technology. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale.

For more information about STFC please visit

You can also visit our careers site

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI)

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation.

More information can be found at

How we support EDI in the workforce

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’.

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

How to apply

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application.

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us.

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