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PhD Studentship - Flexible Hybrid Thermoelectric Materials for Wearable Energy Harvesting

University of Southampton

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Singapore - Singapore, Southampton
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £18,622 tax-free Stipend per annum for up to 3.5 years + Tuition Fees
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 17th October 2023
Closes: 1st March 2024
 

Supervisory Team: Professor Steve Beeby, Dr Iris Nandhakumar

Project description

Applications are invited for a prestigious international PhD Singapore A star studentship to work on an exciting interdisciplinary project between the Schools of Chemistry and Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton and the Institute of Materials Research (IMRE) in Singapore. The project is funded for 4 years and welcomes applicants from the UK who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in  either Chemistry, Materials Science, Physics or related discipline. The 4 year PhD programme will require successful applicants to split their time between the University of Southampton and IMRE in Singapore and will involve two year periods in both Southampton and Singapore. The final PhD degree will be awarded by the University of Southampton.

The proposed project is aimed at developing a new generation of micro thermoelectric (TE) generators capable of being integrated into textiles for powering wearable electronic systems. Wearable electronics such as smart watches, smart glasses or smart pacemakers, have been hailed as the next generation of mobile electronic gadgets that can transform our daily lives. Despite the explosive growth of wearable technology the majority of wearable devices are still powered by batteries that require frequent recharging and replacement even though these devices require energy autonomy for an extended service time without the user’s intervention. A possible solution for the realization of self-powered wearable devices is the generation of power from body heat using flexible thermoelectric (TE) generators. TE devices have the ability to convert heat directly into useful electricity based on the Seebeck effect. TE devices have many advantages such as solid-state operation with no moving parts, zero-emission, silent operation, vast scalability and high reliability with no maintenance and long operating lifetimes. Despite these merits there are a number of drawbacks of existing TE generators which include low efficiency, large size, brittleness and inflexibility as they are fabricated onto rigid substrates. Researchers have demonstrated harvesting sufficient energy from body heat to power a wireless ECG system using such modules but the lack of flexibility means it is not a practical solution. To overcome these limitations the aim of the current project is to produce a micro thermoelectric generator on flexible substrates such as Kapton, Kynar or Mylar and employ low-cost, room temperature scalable electrodeposition approaches coupled with screen printing of thermoelectric inks. The flexible nature of these devices will enable a practical solution to the application in e-textile fabrics and clothing for applications in defense, healthcare and sports.   

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: 01 March 2024

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £18,622 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

You should submit your completed online application form by clicking the ‘Apply’ button above. 

Select programme type (Research), 2024/25, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD Chemistry (Full time)”.

In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Iris Nandhakumar

Applications should include:

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date

For further information please contact: feps-pgr-apply@soton.ac.uk

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