PhD Studentship: High Power Energy Storage: New Materials for Large Format Supercapacitors

University of Warwick - Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG)

Funding: EPSRC funded for 3.5 years (UK student)

Supervisors: Dr Rohit Bhagat

Start Date: As soon as possible

Project overview

An exciting opportunity to work as part of our Electrochemical Engineering research group at WMG, University of Warwick, for the duration of your PhD.

Energy storage technologies are used across a wide range of applications from consumer electronics to next generation automotive, to grid scale applications. As the underlying applications grow, an increasing need for higher power energy storage technologies has developed. One such high power energy storage technology gaining increasing industrial attention is the Supercapacitor. The supercapacitor can deliver a power considerably higher than that of a battery but at a cost of much lower energy.

The focus of this project is to take new supercapacitor technology from the scientific discovery stage right through to industrially relevant demonstrator devices. The project will aim to increase the energy stored in new supercapacitor devices through the use of nanostructured metal oxides as electrode materials.

You will develop new nanostructured transition metal materials using a range of wet chemistry and advanced synthesis techniques (including hydrothermal, solid state and co-precipitation methods) to direct the phase, particle size and morphology of various transition metal oxides. You will assess these properties through various characterisation methods including powder x-ray diffraction, surface area and pore analysis and various electron microscopies. These materials are to be screened throughout the project to understand the effects on various properties in supercapacitor application. This screening will involve making of small coin cell devices and extensive electrochemical analysis including potentiostatic and galvanostatic techniques and AC impedance spectroscopy.

Promising materials are to be scaled to large format devices on our Energy Innovation Centre’s Battery Scale-up Line and tested in our Vehicle Energy Facility, allowing demonstration of advances in performance at an industrially relevant scale.

You will become experienced in all stages of development of the technology from various materials synthesis and characterisation techniques, through to small coin cell development and electrochemical analysis, and finally onto pilot scale prototyping and testing at high powers and currents of 100s of amps.

Entry requirements

Applicants should an upper second (2.1) honours degree or equivalent, in a relevant discipline such as Chemistry, Material Science, or Chemical Engineering. Prior experience in nanomaterials or electrochemistry would be beneficial.

For funding requirements the applicant should be eligible as a UK student. Funding will be £14,296 per annum for 3.5 years.

To apply

To apply please complete our online enquiry form and upload your CV.

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Midlands of England