PhD Studentship: Layered Perovskites with Reversible Chromism



Funding amount:

£15,285 p.a


Supervisor 1: Dr Imalka Jayawardena

Supervisor 2: Dr Yunlong Zhao

This project aims to develop layered perovskites with reversible colour tunability based on solvent vapour, temperature and/or electrical effects targeting their applicability in energy efficient buildings.


  • Full UK/EU tuition fee covered
  • Stipend at £15,285 p.a
  • Personal Computer (provided by the department)

Project Description

Semiconductors based on metal halide perovskites have rapidly emerged as a material of interest for energy harvesting and energy efficient lighting. A particular attraction of metal halide perovskites has been the tunability of its properties through the formation of 3D and 0D (quantum dot) structures. More recently, layered perovskite based on the Ruddlesden-Popper and Dion-Jacobson structures has gained attention.

Metal halide perovskites are known to demonstrate properties that are closer to “ideal” semiconductors. In addition, these are also known to show physical properties similar to that of a liquid. While such behaviour can be an issue in terms of solid-state electronic devices, this “crystalline-liquid” behaviour allows new applications to be developed in previously unconsidered areas for more energy efficient future.

During this project, the student will focus on the design and development of layered perovskites, focusing utilising the “crystalline-liquid” behaviour of perovskites to achieve coatings with reversible chromism. The work will involve the development of new insights on solvo, thermo and electrochromism in perovskites through structural tuning which will be investigated using optical, structural and electrochemical characterisation.

Dr Imalka Jayawardena is the Marcus Lee Lecturer in Energy Materials at the Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey. His expertise includes perovskite and organic solar cells and X-ray sensors. His research focuses on the University of Surrey’s research themes of sustainability and innovation for health which target on developing solutions to the grand challenges of Science delivering global wellbeing and on  Sustainable cities, communities, and economies.

Dr Yunlong Zhao is Lecturer in Energy Storage and Bioelectronics. His expertise includes materials science, electrochemistry and bioelectronics. His research focuses on the developing (1) novel electrochemical energy storage devices and in-situ electrochemical probing, (2) Integrated energy storage and/or bioelectronics in on-chip or 3D soft electronic systems.

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Additional notes:

A background in chemistry is desirable although not essential. The selected candidate will be trained as required on the preparation of perovskites and required characterisation skills.

Level of study/qualifications required:

Bachelors or Masters level in Chemical, Chemical Process Engineering, Physics, Material Science or Electronic Engineering, with grades/GPA at minimum equivalent to a UK upper second class honours degree.

IELTS requirements:

English language requirements: IELTS Academic 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.

How to apply:

Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application. A covering letter, detailed CV, copy of your current or most recent academic transcript, copy of passport, two referees and contact information should also be included with your application

Only nationals of the UK/EU are eligible for this studentship and applications from non-UK/EU nationals will be ignored.

Applications should be sent to no later than 17.00 on 31st May 2021.

Please use ‘”Layered perovskites with reversible chromism-Dr Imalka Jayawardena” in the subject line.

Application enquiries:

Name: Nicole Steward


Research group:

You can apply here.