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Additive Manufacture of Embedded Substrateless Electronic Devices (WS03)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr D Hutt
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
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Full Project Detail

Electronics are increasingly embedded into the structure of products in order to increase functionality (e.g. sensors, IoT), reduce size and weight, and enable their operation in harsh environments. Often this involves manufacturing a separate electronic circuit on a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) substrate that is then built into the device. This is not an efficient approach and does not support products that require complex 3D form factors. Furthermore, conventional PCBs are often difficult to recycle at the end-of-life, leading to hard to process waste streams. This PhD research programme will investigate “substrateless” manufacturing technologies to produce electronic modules and 3D parts where the components are directly embedded and interconnected within the surrounding matrix, without the need for a PCB. The project will combine novel printable electrically conductive inks (based on surface treated metal particle fillers) with polymer overmoulding technologies and additive (e.g. laser sintering) processing. With the elimination of a substrate, these techniques will offer opportunities to focus on novel 3D structures, while also addressing sustainable approaches to end-of-life product management through suitable materials selection and separation methods.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Materials Science, Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Electronics Manufacturing, Surface Science, Polymer Processing

Funding Notes

Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and other advertised projects starting with advert reference ‘WS’ for the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering.
If awarded, each 3-year studentship will provide a tax-free stipend of £15,009 p/a, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,327 p/a). While we welcome applications from non-EU nationals, please be advised that it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified by 30th September 2019.

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