Single Molecule Electrochemistry and Spectroscopy


We are looking for a candidate to join our group at the University of Liverpool to study single molecules in nanoscale junctions. We can capture single molecules, ranging from redox active organic molecular wires to organo-metallic complexes in nano-gap junctions and study their electrochemical and electrical properties down to the single molecule level. This is achieved by using a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) which provides the ability to form single molecule junctions and to measure the current flow through the molecular bridge. The successful candidate will work on new developments, which include fast time-resolved electrical measurements of the dynamics in single-molecule junctions and spectroscopy. Using these methods, it is possible to detect and study transiently charged molecular states at the single molecule level and configurational transitions of molecular bridges.

This PhD position will suit a candidate who has interests in physical chemistry, electrochemistry, new measurement techniques, instrumentation development, single molecule technology and science and/or spectroscopy, but the project can be tailored to include chemical synthesis for candidates who wish to synthesise new molecular wires. This work will involve collaborations with some of our international partners based in Perth (Australia), Suzhou (China) and Zaragoza (Spain) as well as with other UK groups in Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick and Lancaster. This is a research area in which we are internationally leading and the project offers potential for publications in leading journals. Future areas of application of this work include technologies where understanding molecular charge transfer is central, which includes very sensitive electrochemical sensors, molecular photovoltaics, organic displays and molecular electronics.

The successful candidate will join a research group of more than 10 people, with research interests spanning the entire field of single-molecule electronics, and including chemical synthesis, charge transport measurements, nanofabrication, (nano)electrochemistry, scanning tunnelling microscopy and atomic force microscopy. We are able to offer strong support and training to new PhD students in laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for single molecule science, in one of the best Chemistry departments in the country (2nd in the UK for world-leading outputs).

Further details of our research can be found here:

Dr. Andrea Vezzoli - Molecular Devices @ University of Liverpool

Applications are encouraged from highly motivated candidates who have, or expect to have, at least a 2:1 degree or equivalent in Chemistry. The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years (currently £15,609 p.a.) and it is anticipated that the successful candidate will start in September 2021.

Applications should be made as soon as possible but no later than 5th March 2021. Informal enquiries are also encouraged and should be addressed to  or 

Applications from candidates meeting the eligibility requirements of the EPSRC are welcome – please refer to the EPSRC website.

To apply please visit: Please quote Studentship Reference: CCPR007 in the Finance Section of the Application Form.


Open to EU/UK applicants

Funding information

Funded studentship

The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years (currently £15,609 p.a.) and it is anticipated that the successful candidate will start in September 2021.
See the following for eligibility requirements:
EPSRC PhD Funding - A Guide for 2021 | -
EPSRC (UKRI) funding may be possible for EU and international students – please enquire.




1. Wu, C. L.; Qiao, X. H.; Robertson, C. M.; Higgins, S. J.; Cai, C. X.; Nichols, R. J.; Vezzoli, A., A Chemically Soldered Polyoxometalate Single-Molecule Transistor. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 2020, 59, 2.
2. Wu, C. L.; Bates, D.; Sangtarash, S.; Ferri, N.; Thomas, A.; Higgins, S. J.; Robertson, C. M.; Nichols, R. J.; Sadeghi, H.; Vezzoli, A., Folding a Single-Molecule Junction. Nano Letters 2020, 20 (11), 7980-7986.