PhD Studentship: Electrodeposited Metal Matrix Nano Composite (MMNC) Coatings for Tribological Applications

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. A novel method, pulse reverse plating (PRP), has been developed at Leicester to produce these.  Understanding of bath chemistry/nanoparticle interactions has proved difficult. The technique will be applied to Ni and Ni-alloy based plating systems to produce tribological coatings as a replacement for hard chrome coatings, which are currently produced from toxic Cr6+ baths.

The project will develop a novel plating technique, based on pulse reverse plating (PRP), to produce nanocomposite coatings with controllable nanoparticle content for tribological applications. Key objectives are:

  • - To define the generic parameters which achieve control over the composite structure;
  • - To optimise the parameters of selected coating systems for specific applications, demonstrating functions such as wear resistance and lubricity;

To demonstrate control of properties on industrial scale components, leaving the process ready for industrial adoption.

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 IMP07-WESTON when applying

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Midlands of England