PhD Researcher in Soil Nutrient Electrochemical Nanosensors Development

Tyndall National Institute
February 12, 2024
Offerd Salary:€250m
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Fixed Term Tyndall i
Working Time:Full time
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AOR-35 – PhD Researcher in Soil Nutrient Electrochemical Nanosensors Development

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

Tyndall is a core partner in the VistaMilk Centre. The Science Foundation Ireland/Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine: VistaMilk Centre for innovative Smart precision pasture-based dairying, brings together a number of major Irish research providers to facilitate the development and deployment of new knowledge, new ICT technologies and new decision support tools to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire dairy production chain. To this end, Vistamilk will develop new, and advance existing, electronic monitoring and sensing technologies to transform an already world-class dairy sector into a global leader in sustainable Agri-Tech and also provide a ‘one-stop-shop' for research, education and innovation within this domain. Tyndall is leading the Smart Sensor Systems hardware development. As one of Europe's leading ICT institutes, with over 600 people and a capital infrastructure in excess of €250m, Tyndall is now focusing its research in microelectronics and front end sensor development into “making smart things for the Internet of Farm”.

Applications are invited for a PhD Scholarship within the Nanotechnology Group at the Tyndall National Institute – University College Cork. We have recently developed new integrated electrochemical nanosensors employing nanowires as sensing elements on-chip and have demonstrated significantly enhanced sensitivity, when compared to the state of the art, for a range of important molecules including: chemical analytes (e.g., pesticides) and biochemicals analytes (e.g., glucose, dopamine). These new sensors have been sufficiently developed to allow electrochemical-based label-free detection of binding events including antibody-antigen. Recently we have shown reagent-free detection of key analytes in soil and water and demonstrated real-time detection (time to detection: 20 second) of nitrates.

The candidate will co-develop new approaches for chemical modification of sensors, based on organic/inorganic materials, to confer selectivity for detection of nitrites, and ammonia in soil water. Using an iterative approach, nanoelectrodes will be chemically modified, characterised and optimised for the multiplexed detection of target species. The work will involve the development of state-of-the-art research methods that involve nanosensor development and fabrication (in collaboration with the nano- fabrication facility at Tyndall) chemical modification of gold or platinum nanoelectrodes using additive chemical approaches, test, characterisation, evaluation, integration with electronic circuitry (in collaboration with the microelectronic circuit centre of Ireland at Tyndall) field deployment and validation. Work will also focus on developing and applying machine learning and data analysis to optimise the sensor output.

Applications are invited from scientists and engineers who hold a first-class honour undergraduate degree or an honours Master's degree in chemistry, physics, materials science, electrical engineering or a closely related discipline. The researcher is expected to have a strong track record of achievement and experience in sensor development and deployment in-field.

Essential Criteria

  • Honours BSc or Master's degree in chemistry/materials science/physics or equivalent
  • Good knowledge of sensor development and deployment
  • Good knowledge of solid-state chemistry and/or electrical engineering
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a wider team
  • Ability to critically evaluate the obtained results and present to their peers.
  • Desirable Criteria

  • A Master's degree in developing soil sensors would be highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of electrochemistry techniques
  • The successful student will receive training in all research methods required and will work alongside experienced professional researchers within the Nanotechnology Group, attend conferences and publish in high impact journals. The research is supported by a suite of equipment and laboratory facilities within the group that are amongst the best in Europe.

    For further information on this position, please contact Dr. Alan O'Riordan, Nanotechnology Group, Tyndall National Institute (Email: [email protected] group webpage: www.

    An annual student stipend of €25,000 applies to this successful candidate for this position. In addition, yearly University academic fees will be paid by the Tyndall National Institute.

    The closing date for applications is 12th February, 2024.

    Application Instructions

    Clickhere to Apply

    Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency as per UCC regulations (https: // www. Certificates should be valid (usually less than 2 years old) and should be uploaded with their application.

    Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

    The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

    Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.

    At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

    Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

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