Postgraduate research opportunities

Tuning materials from within: growing endo/exo-particles for energy conversion devices

This PhD project will explore the design, characterisation and application of exsolved materials for power-to-X energy conversion devices where X can be fuels, chemicals, heat or power, all essential for transitioning to a clean, sustainable energy economy.

Number of places

One

Opens

7 May 2020

Duration

3 years

Eligibility

Students applying should have (or expect to achieve) a high 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant Engineering/science discipline, and must be highly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research. 

Project Details

The ability to disperse nanoparticles on the surface of materials has revolutionised surface science and catalysis, speeding up a wide range of chemical reactions of great practical importance. Dispersing nanoparticles within the bulk of materials instead is synthetically much more challenging and therefore less explored but could prove to be just as revolutionary for speeding up transport properties throughout the bulk. Indeed, materials exhibiting high electron, ion or heat transport across the bulk underpin a wide range of energy conversion technologies including fuel cells, electrolysis cell, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics etc.

Recently, a new method for the preparation of such systems has been discovered. The method, referred to as redox exsolution, enables extensive, controlled growth of metallic nanoparticles, at nanoscale proximity, inside an oxide lattice (endo-particles) as well as on its surface (exo-particles).1,2 The endo-particles and the surrounding lattice become mutually strained and seamlessly connected, enabling enhanced oxygen exchange and opening intriguing new possibility for strain engineering of transport properties of materials.2

This PhD project will explore the design, characterisation and application of exsolved materials for power-to-X energy conversion devices where X can be fuels, chemicals, heat or power, all essential for transitioning to a clean, sustainable energy economy.3,4 The project is thus highly multidisciplinary in scope, employing different structural and chemical characterisation methods, manufacturing and application testing procedures, and will provide the candidate with the opportunity to interact with world leading expert collaborators and institutions in the respective fields.

In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.

 

References:

  1. Neagu, G. Tsekouras, D. N. Miller, H. Ménard and J. T. S. Irvine, Nat Chem, 2013, 5, 916–923.
  2. Kousi, D. Neagu, L. Bekris, E. I. Papaioannou and I. S. Metcalfe, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2020, 59, 2510–2519.
  3. Wikipedia, 2020.
  4. D. Luna, C. Hahn, D. Higgins, S. A. Jaffer, T. F. Jaramillo and E. H. Sargent, Science, 2019, 364.

Funding Details

This PhD project is initially offered on a self-funding basis. However, excellent candidates will be considered for a University scholarship.

 

Contact us

Miss Ewa Kosciuk

+44(0) 141 548 2835

chemeng-pg-admissions@strath.ac.uk

James Weir Building, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow, G1 1XJ

How to apply

Apply for this project here – please quote the project title in your application.

During the application you'll be asked for the following information and evidence uploaded to the application:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if you are not from a majority English-speaking country as recognised by UKVI
  • two references, one of which must be academic. Please see our guidance on referees
  • funding or scholarship information
  • international students must declare any previous UK study

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.

Useful resources

Your application and offer

Application System Guide

Fees and funding