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PhD Studentship: EPSRC and SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced characterisation of Materials (CDTACM)

Imperial College London - Imperial College London and University College London

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: London
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 8th April 2020
Expires: 8th July 2020

Duration: 48 months (starting on 1st October 2020)

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Characterisation of Materials, a joint centre between Imperial college London, University College London and Trinity College Dublin has a PhD studentship available in the Department of Materials on Fundamental understanding of electrode-electrolyte interfaces in novel batteries.

There is an imperative to reduce society’s dependence on fossil fuels. Battery technologies are required for the major markets of transport electrification and grid connected energy storage supporting renewable energy generation. However, there is current no truly sustainable solution to this problem.

Addressing this world problem LiNa Energy is developing a novel battery technology to transform current automotive and energy-storage solutions. It is based around a new sodium metal chloride design which produces high energy density cells and battery packs which are both safe and low cost. This technology has the potential to transform battery markets accelerating the uptake of electric vehicles and allowing the introduction of further renewable generation capacity into electricity systems. In both markets a good low cost and sustainable battery solution is a major missing link in the widespread adoption.

The chemistry used in the cells has been around for several years, but it has yet to reach its full commercial potential. It is significantly different from incumbent chemistries and has been neglected whilst most academic studies and commercial research have concentrated on lithium ion or similar systems. Therefore, this project with LiNa Energy in partnership with Imperial College, represents an exciting opportunity to develop an in-depth and fundamental understanding of the electrode – electrolyte interfaces, charge transfer and conduction mechanisms in a sodium metal chloride cell. The project will make use of the extensive materials characterisation and surface science techniques available at the college to develop new knowledge in the field. Never previously reported chemical and structural observations and characterisation will be made and at length scales only available to a few institutions worldwide. Opportunity will exist to study reactions as they happen (in operando) using facilities at the college. This knowledge and information will be crucial to the design of the most optimal cells for future applications.

You will hold, or be expected to achieve, a Master's degree in addition to a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) at 2:1 level (or above) in a relevant subject (e.g. Materials, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Mechanical, Electrical or Chemical Engineering). the studentship is available to home students*

To make informal enquires and apply please email a full CV, including the marks (%) for all (undergraduate) modules completed to date, the names and contact details of two referees, as well as a covering letter to Ms Hafiza Bibi

* European Union nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to starting a PhD studentship.

Closing date: Available until filled 

Both ICL and UCL are committed to equality and valuing diversity. Both are Athena SWAN Silver Award winners and Stonewall Diversity Champions. ICL is a Two Ticks Employer and is working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people. UCL holds a race equality bronze award.

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