PhD School of Chemistry Newcastle University: Advanced Materials for Redox Flow Batteries

Newcastle University

Value of award

100% tuition fees plus an annual stipend of £14,057 (based on RCUK stipend levels). Overseas applicants should be aware that the overseas fees are not covered by the studentship, and would need to be self-funded. The fees and stipend cover UK/EU applicants only.

Number of awards


Start date and duration

January 2017 for 3 years.


A PhD position is available at the School of Chemistry in the group of Professor Ulrich Stimming in collaboration with a big, international engineering company.

Redox Flow Batteries (RFBs) are secondary batteries that store energy entirely in the solution on electron carrying ions. The possibility to store energy on a large scale is a requirement for the integration of renewables into the electrical grid. Energy reservoirs can be employed for efficient peak shaving and valley filling, which is crucial to rendering intermittent renewables more reliable.

The stored energy content is determined by the concentration of ions in the solution, the number of stored electrons per ion and the potential difference between ions in the two half-cells of a battery. The power at which the energy can be released is mostly determined by the redox rates of the ions. Therefore, the employed redox-ions are the centerpiece of every RFB. However, current RFB chemistries employ simple solvated transition metal ions and therefore suffer from low energy- and power-density as well as high capital cost per installed kWh.

This project aims at investigating novel, nanostructured electron shuttles to use advanced materials at the heart of the RFB technology.

The successful candidate will work on the full development cycle of an advanced RFB:

  • Design and synthesis of new molecules with our international partners
  • Electrochemical testing of prepared molecules
  • Microscopic and spectroscopic investigation or reaction mechanisms
  • Full-cell tests of promising candidates
  • Cost and life-cycle analysis of new battery chemistries.


School of Chemistry

Name of supervisor(s)

Professor Ulrich Stimming

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for admission to this programme, students must have:

  • At least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, physics or a related discipline
  • Student fees are covered for UK/EU students only. Therefore overseas students would need to be self-funded
  • Proficiency in the English language
  • Effective written and verbal communications skills
  • Ability to work closely with tea members and collaborators from different disciplines
  • Self-motivation and an ability to exercise initiative in carrying out research tasks.

How to apply

The candidate must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form. Only mandatory fields need to be completed however, you will need to include the following information:

  • Insert the programme code: 8100F in the programme of study section
  • Select ‘PhD School of Chemistry (full time), Chemistry’ as the programme of study
  • Insert the studentship code CY034 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • No personal statement is required but please attach a covering letter, CV and (if English is not your first language) a copy of your English language qualifications. The covering letter must state the title and code of the studentship, and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.


For further details, please email Professor Stimming.

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Northern England