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Can you get more with less? Organic Photovoltaics for longer lifetime and lower cost via blending with commodity polymers. (Ref: ReNU/Groves)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities, for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training. The start date is 1st October 2020.

Averting a climate catastrophe requires a significant increase in the amount of energy produced from renewable, low-carbon sources. This has led to interest in organic photovoltaics (OPVs), since these can be made cheaply and at scale by printing. However, the development of OPVs has generally pursued improvements in efficiency, with cost and lifetime receiving rather less attention. This project addresses this deficiency by investigating the possibility of self-encapsulating OPV devices in which the photoactive materials are blended with cheap, inert polymers to simultaneously optimise cost and lifetime. Allied to this will be economic modelling of the cost of energy from these OPVs, to provide quantitative guidance about how these devices can be improved. Most of this work will be carried out in the laboratory, and would suit someone who enjoys practical work and understanding data.

This project is supervised by Dr Chris Groves. For enquiries about the project, please contact .

For this project you must apply through the Durham University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account. To do this please navigate to https://www.dur.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/ and select ‘Apply now’ followed by ‘Apply for postgraduate study.’

When completing your application, please ensure that you note that you are applying for the appropriate ReNU project by completing the application fields as follows:

Course details
• Select ‘yes’ to the question, ‘Have you been in contact with a potential supervisor?’
• Complete the ‘intended supervisor’s name’ with ReNU/Groves
• Complete Engineering as the Department

Funding
• Select ‘yes’ to the question, ‘Have you applied, or are you going to apply for a scholarship?
• Select ‘other’ from the drop-down list under, ‘Please indicate which scholarship you have applied for’
• Complete ‘Please enter the name of the Scholarship you have applied for or will be applying for’ with ReNU/Groves

The application closing date is January 31st and interviews will take place in February.

The applicant is expected to have a 1st or 2:1 class honours degree, or postgraduate Masters (preferably at Merit level) in Physics, Electronic Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science or a related subject as well as an appropriate IELTS score if required. Applicants should not be engaged with Doctoral study at Durham or elsewhere.

Funding Notes

The studentship covers full Home fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rates (for 2019/20, this was £15,009 pa). Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

Please note that the scholarship award is set at the Home/EU level of fees. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. Note that up to 4 offers of a PhD place will be made for the ReNU CDT projects advertised by Durham University.

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