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PhD Studentship: Ultra-low Temperature Sintering of Li Based Ceramics for Energy Storage

University of Sheffield - Materials Science and Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Sheffield
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 1st March 2019
Closes: 29th April 2019

Supervisors: Derek Sinclair and Rebecca Boston

Cold sintering is a revolutionary ceramic technology in which densification is induced at < 300 oC. It is particularly suited to ceramics with Li chemistries, reducing the CO2 emissions associated with ceramic processing at high temperature (<1000 oC) by ~50%. For Li-ion electrolytes, low temperature densification is also critical so that viable compounds retain Li2O which volatilises at >700 oC. The primary objectives of the project are to optimize the densification of planar multilayers of Li based compositions whilst still retaining high values of Li ion conduction with a view to developing a range of new materials/composites for Li-ion capacitive storage and battery applications.

Structure microstructure and properties will be investigated using XRD, SEM, TEM and impedance spectroscopy. Optimised compositions will be used to fabricate planar tapecast layers which will be multilayered and cold sintered to form planar ceramics. A combination of classic and in-operando XRD along with transmission electron microscopy will be used to study the interfacial reactions. The electrical properties will be investigated using impedance spectroscopy. The PhD is part sponsored by the Centre for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics (CDP), of which the UoS is an academic partner alongside North Carolina and Pennsylvania State Universities. The CDP has 25+ industrial members which include Apple, Samsung, Murata, Taiyo Yuden and Ilika Technologies. Secondments to US partners and to CDP companies are encouraged within the programme.

Funding Minimum 

UKRI fees plus £2 k top up

Funding Maximum

UKRI Fees and Stipend (£15,009 for 2019/20)  plus 3k top up

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