PhD Studentship: Fundamental Mechanisms and Models for Electrodeposited Metal Matrix Nano Composite (MMNC) Coatings

University of Leicester

Location: University of Leicester

A fully-funded 4 year-PhD studentship starting in September/October 2018 is available in the Doctoral training centre for Innovative Metal Processing (IMPaCT) at the University of Leicester.


Metal matrix nanocomposite can be produced by electrodeposition of metals from plating baths containing a dispersion of inert nanoparticles.  Understanding of bath chemistry/nanoparticle interactions has proved difficult. Empirical models based on that proposed by Guglielmi tend to be system specific and while the model accounts for the concentration of particles and current density it excludes hydrodynamic effects and particle characteristics.  Pulse Reverse Plating offers a means to exert great control over coating particle content.

The student will develop a novel plating technique, pulse reverse plating, PRP to produce nanocomposite coatings with controllable nanoparticle content which is strongly dependent on nanoparticle surface charge and surface roughness.  As yet no model can explain:

  1. Effect of particle capture on surface morphology and potential feedback mechanisms
  2. Effect of particle encapsulation on matrix crystalline growth.
  3. The measurement and effect of nanoparticle zeta potential in PRP

Experiment and modelling will develop these links to provide a new route to nanocomposite coatings. 

Funding Information:

IMPaCT students are fully funded studentships which include:

  • A full UK/EU fee waiver for 4 years
  • An annual tax free stipend of £14,777 (2018/19)
  • Possibility of additional top up for industry sponsored projects.
  • Generous Research Training Support Grant.

Studentships are open to UK Home / EU applicants who meet the residency criteria which is set out by the Research Council EPSRC.

A limited amount of partial funding is available for exceptional international applicants who are highly qualified and motivated.  Due to the nature of this funding, the CDT would only be able to cover the cost of the Home/EU fees and therefore the applicant would need to either find alternative funding or self-fund the fee difference

Informal Enquiries:

Please make any informal enquiries to Dr David Weston –

How to apply*:

*Please include project code IMP02-WESTON when applying

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Midlands of England