PhD Studentship: Photoresponsive nanocomposite coatings for anti-laser dazzling in aviation safety

United Kingdom
May 16, 2017
May 11, 2018
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
PhD Studentship: Photoresponsive nanocomposite coatings for anti-laser dazzling in aviation safety Engineering & the Environment

Location: Highfield Campus

Closing Date:  Friday 11 May 2018

Reference: 870217F2

Project Reference: EngSci-BIO-309

Laser attacks penetrating aircraft windshields at pilots are incredibly dangerous which could cause hazardous and potentially lethal distraction, posing a significant and increasing threat in aviation safety. The Department for Transport estimates there are around 1,500 laser attacks on aircraft per year in the UK, while last year through October 22 the US Federal Aviation Association noted 5,564 reported laser strike incidents took place nationwide.

The aim of this project is to develop a nanocrystal quantum dot (QDs) based photoresponsive nanocomposite coating which will respond to and adsorb laser illuminations at selected wavebands with high input intensities, whilst the normal visible light transmission at low input intensities is not obstructed, leading to an energy dependent blocking of laser light. Due to quantum confinement effect, the fluorescence emission wavelength is also dependent on the dot size, that will allow us to mitigate laser in different colour.

The specific objectives of the project will be:

  • to synthesise nanocrystal QDs with desired size and corresponding optical properties, by using the advanced continuous-flow reactor technology developed in our research groups;
  • to design and functionalise QDs surface;  
  • to embed such produced QDs into polymeric matrix to form nanocomposite coatings;
  • to characterise the coatings in terms of laser intensity mitigation.


This project will be supervised by a multidisciplinary supervisory team across engineering, materials chemistry, and industry, based on the established collaboration.

Candidates will have a first class or upper second class degree (or its equivalent) in relevant disciplines, e.g. chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering and/or relevant nano science and technology. The successful candidate will work with a group of highly motivated, first class research students in the areas of engineering materials, chemistry and bioengineering.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Xunli Zhang, Bioengineering research group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 5099.


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