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Computational Design of Advanced Battery Materials Interfaces via Nano-Structuring

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  • Full or part time
    Dr D. Kramer
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

A fully funded PhD opportunity is available at the University of Southampton to develop advanced battery materials, primarily for automotive applications, using cutting-edge computational materials-by-design methodologies. You will design nano-structured battery interfaces with a view to alter the electronic structure near the surface of active materials to mitigate degradation processes that currently limit the lifetime of Li-Ion batteries and stand in the way of deploying next-generation chemistries.

This position is funded by the Faraday Institution (, the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage science and technology, and provides opportunity to benefit from the strong educational mission of the Institution and interact with numerous research groups across the UK.

The Faraday Institution Cluster PhD students receive an enhanced stipend over and above the standard EPSRC offer. The total annual stipend is approximately £20,000 plus an additional £7,000 annually to cover training and travel costs. Recipients will have access to multiple networking opportunities, industry visits, mentorship, internships, as well as quality experiences that will further develop knowledge, skills, and aspirations.

Modern high-performance batteries (predominately Li-Ion) are based on complex chemistries whose understanding is crucial as it determines the performance and lifetime of batteries. A key challenge is to develop an atomistic understanding of the interfaces between active material and electrolyte and link this understanding to macroscopic characteristics such as intercalation and degradation rates.

You will use cutting-edge linear scaling Density-Functional-Theory developed within the Skylaris research group ( and exploit rational materials design strategies championed within the Kramer research group ( to investigate the interaction between nano-particles and battery materials surfaces to tailor the electronic structure of the surfaces with the aim to immobilise sub-surface transition metal centres and mitigate a key degradation mode.

You are a highly motivated, outstanding Graduate in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science or a related field with a strong interest in atomistic modelling, surface science, physical chemistry as well as sustainability. You thrive in a stimulating and fast-paced environment and look forward to work on an important scientific challenge with large potential for impact; you are a good team player driven by scientific curiosity and with an ambition to solve a practical challenge.

At the University of Southampton, we believe that excellence will be achieved through recognising the value of every individual. We aim to create an environment that respects the diversity of staff and students, enabling them to achieve their full potential, contribute fully and derive maximum benefit and enjoyment from their involvement in the life of the University. For our full equality and diversity statement, please see

Click the link to apply online and select the programme - PhD in Engineering and the Environment. Please enter the title of the PhD Studentship in the application form.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Denis Kramer, Engineering Materials Research Group Email: [Email Address Removed], Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 8410.

Funding Notes

This studentship covers UK tuition fees and the total annual stipend is approximately £20,000, plus an additional £7,000 annually to cover training and travel costs.

Applicants must be UK residents with no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have lived here for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship. This residence cannot be mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education.

For further guidance on funding, please contact [Email Address Removed]

How good is research at University of Southampton in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 192.23

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

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