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Advanced fabrication of composite ferroelectric materials

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Ferroelectric ceramics are widely used in electronic devices as capacitors, actuators, sensors and energy harvesters due to their dielectric, piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties. The introduction of low permittivity second phases, such as porosity or polymers, into these materials has been shown to be an effective way of obtaining greater control over the functional properties than could otherwise be achieved by carefully tailoring the composition of the ceramic system.

This project will investigate novel methods for fabricating porous ferroelectric ceramics by combining pre-existing advanced techniques, such as freeze casting, tape casting and printing technologies. Polymers will then be introduced into the porous framework to form composites with improved mechanical properties. Linking the effects of processing, micro- and macrostructure to the functional properties will enable the fabrication of bespoke materials specifically tailored to maximise the performance for a given application. Processes will be designed to achieve control over both the porous structure (e.g. pore size, morphology, alignment, connectivity) and microstructure (e.g. grain size, texture). There will be scope for both experimental and modelling work during the project to further the understanding of microstructure-property relationships of ferroelectric composites. The potential for scale up of techniques will be of interest, which will be aided by links to industry within the department. Collaboration with international academic partners will be encouraged, as will conference attendance.

The successful applicant will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters degree (first class or upper second-class) or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent) in mechanical engineering, materials science, manufacturing or related discipline.

English language requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr James Roscow ()

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019

Funding Notes

This project is eligible for inclusion in funding rounds scheduled for end of November 2018, January 2019, February 2019, March 2019 and April 2019. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

Funding will cover Home/EU tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£14,777 pa (2018/19 rate)) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for 3.5 years. Early application is strongly recommended.

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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