Concentrated solutions of helical rod-like particles such as polynucleotides and polypeptides are known to form orientationally ordered liquid crystal phases. Common examples are the tobacco mosaic virus and filamentous bacteriophages such as the fd and M13 viruses. Due to the way the self-assembled structure forms, these particles are often chiral, which can lead to chiral liquid crystalline phases in which the direction of alignment twists around a perpendicular axis with a fixed periodicity.This long range periodicity arises from the preferred mutual twist of neighbouring molecules. Project: We will use Monte Carlo simulation to investigate the correlation between molecular chirality and phase chirality. Simulations will be used to determine the phase behaviour of a well-defined screw-thread model, and how the phase behaviour varies with molecular parameters such as the chirality, length or shape.
There will be opportunities for the student to extend the models to a number of other areas of interest in soft matter chemistry / physics. Research Group: The student will join the Materials Group and also be part of the Computers in Chemistry Group. http://www.york.ac.uk/chemistry/research/materials/
Training: The student should have an interest in computer simulation of condensed matter systems and full training will be given on high performance scientific computing and Monte Carlo simulation techniques for soft matter systems. Opportunities exist to attend courses to further develop their knowledge of soft matter systems. Being part of the larger Materials group at York, the student will attend regular group meetings with other members of staff and students with interest across the soft matter area. Students are expected to present their research findings at conferences and at collaborative visits to other research groups in the UK and abroad.
Project title: Simulation of chiral viruses Supervisor Name(s): Dr Martin A. Bates Supervisor(s) Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
PhD Project in Chemistry Department of Chemistry, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK
Funding Types: Self-funding Eligibility: UK/EU/Overseas