HDR Scholarship - Stimuli responsive pores towards gated membranes based on iris-like nano-valves

Applications now open

A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Stimuli responsive pores towards gated membranes based on iris-like nano-valves'.

Project Supervisor

Associate Supervisors


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

This project aims at developing membranes with controllable gate-keepers at the site of the entrance of the pores. Stimuli responsive materials will be anchored and grafted across the surface of the pores to facilitate the constriction or expansion of the pores and thus act as nano-valves, allowing for selective diffusion based on bio-sensors feedback for adsorbed compounds strategically across the surface of the membranes.

The strategy will be focused on the design of iris shaped polymers able to open/shut based on specific light or electrical stimuli. The iris, bio-mimicking an eye iris, will allow for selective diffusion based on the feedback from the sensing unit implemented within the membrane surface. The recent design of light- and electrically responsive polymers and their integration has paved the way for the implementation into complex 3D architectures and will be utilized as a base for this project.

Project aim

The project will tackle fundamental challenges related to:

  1. the iris design and shape etching from responsive polymers,
  2. the implementation of biosensors across the surface of membranes and
  3. the reactivity of the nano-valve.

The primary potential of such an approach will be in analytical chemistry and highly selective membranes and applications in ultralow trace contaminant removal, quality control and system protection and advanced nano-fluidics. The applications will span beyond the sole scope of the application tested in analytical chemistry, drug delivery and in bio-security where selectivity is prime to performance. The opportunities to develop more efficient separation systems will stem from this approach and be useful in a myriad of fields.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $27,596 per annum tax exempt (2019 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate or overseas
  • International students only: Tuition fee and overseas health coverage for the duration of 4 years

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • background in polymer materials, membrane materials, and/or analytical chemistry

How to apply

Please apply using the expression of interest form


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Prof Lingxue Kong or Dr Ludovic Dumee

Prof Lingxue Kong
Professor (Research)
Email Lingxue Kong
+61 3 522 72087

Dr Ludovic Dumee
Senior Research Fellow
Email Ludovic Dumee
+61 3 522 71038