Liverpool PhD: Tuneable Size and Shape Selected Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles for Antimicrobial Coatings

PhD Position Available from October 2022, University of Liverpool

Supervisory team

Professor R Raval (Academic supervisor), Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool.

Dr Heather Allison (Academic co-supervisor), Department of Clinical Infection, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Liverpool.

Dr Nicholas Jose  (Industrial supervisor), Accelerated Materials, Cambridge.

PhD Position

There is an urgent global need to develop advanced antimicrobial coatings to combat bacterial and viral impact on the human population and the world’s economy. This is an opportunity for a 4-year PhD position, in collaboration with Accelerated Materials, to understand how nanoscale properties of Zinc Oxide can deliver an advanced antimicrobial coating.                                                                   

Zinc oxide can create nanostructures with a wide range of shapes, sizes and surface features. However, little is understood about how and why ZnO size and shape influence their antimicrobial activity. This PhD programme will synthesise ZnO nanoparticles with defined nanoscale shape and size and evaluate their antimicrobial functions. A combination of Physical Sciences and Life Sciences imaging techniques and analytical probes will be used to develop a fundamental correlation between nanoscale ZnO properties and their antibacterial and antiviral effects.

The PhD student will be based at the Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool, within the Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces and the Surface Science Research Centre.

The PhD combines interdisciplinary science and global innovation. Accelerated Materials Ltd (AM) is an innovation-driven spinout, based in Cambridge, focused on bringing novel nanomaterials to commercial realities. The Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces is at the forefront of translating scientific advances into innovation and is one of the four core partners of NBIC.

The student will enrol in NBIC’s Doctoral Training Centre which trains interdisciplinary PhD researchers at the Interface of Physical and Life Sciences to understand the behaviour of microbes at surfaces central to the global challenges of AMR, Health, Food Security, Clean Water and Energy.


This position is open to UK or a limited quota of EU students only with the equivalent of at least a 2.1 Honours degree in Chemistry, Materials Science, Biophysics or Engineering. An interview will be undertaken with suitable candidates before an offer is made. Fees and a stipend for up to 4 years will be paid provided eligibility is met.


Applicants should apply by e-mailing Lucy Jones at

You should submit an up to date CV and cover letter with names of at least 2 academic referees.

Deadline: 31 August 2022. Candidates will be evaluated as applications are received, and the position may be filled before the deadline if a suitable candidate is identified.