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Computational modelling of corrosion processes at metal-electrolyte interfaces

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

Project Description

ICL Chemistry department is offering a fully funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate. The position is immediately available. The project will be based in the Computational NanoElectrochemistry group of Dr. Clotilde Cucinotta, in the framework of a multidisciplinary project on developing and applying new theoretical methodologies for the operando modelling of electrochemical (EC) systems.

Oxidation and corrosion in materials science and technology costing yearly billions of pounds to the UK economy and affecting multiple sectors, from metal consumption in biomedical implants to the corrosion of electronic circuits, from atmospheric corrosion, to the interrelated passivation and dissolution processes occurring in the eroding environments of the petrochemical industry.

In spite of the large variety of experimental and computational approaches adopted to rationalize different corrosion processes, relatively little is known of the electrochemistry of metal surfaces in realistic electrochemical environment, even for the simple case of metal aqueous electrolyte interfaces. Information on the local chemistry of the electrolyte in contact with the metal is essential e.g. to unravel the initial stages of metal oxidation.

In this project we will focus on the realistic simulation from first principles molecular dynamics of the interaction of metal (e.g. Cu, Ag, Fe, Ni and Mg) surfaces with the aqueous electrolyte, studying the formation and degradation of oxidising layers on the metal surfaces. In certain cases surface degrades (e.g. iron) in other cases protective films form (e.g. in stainless steel). We will develop molecular scale models for these processes with the aim of unravelling the fundamental mechanisms triggering surface degradation and protection.

Applications should be submitted ASAP through the College’s online application system, specifying Dr Cucinotta as a supervisor:

Required documentation includes CV, research proposal or personal statement, transcript, 2 references and IELTS results. Outstanding applications submitted prior to January 10th will be shortlisted for the President’s scholarship.
Interested candidates can contact Dr Clotilde Cucinotta () for enquires, with a transcript and a motivation letter.

Funding Notes

UK/EU students are eligible for this studentship, which will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a stipend for three and ½ years. The position is available immediately and will stay open until a suitable candidate is found. We also welcome applications from students who have alternative funding available.

Applicants should demonstrate excellent communication skills and an outstanding academic record in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, or related discipline. Prior experience in density functional theory based calculations would be an advantage.

Related Subjects

How good is research at Imperial College London in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 54.90

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

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