Manufacturing high performance batteries is a key requirement to address the pressing challenges of climate change. Battery technology is critical in enabling electric vehicles and storing renewable energy. This PhD will provide the opportunity to research new methods to make highly structured materials that can transform battery technology using industry ready methods. A key goal of the project will be to instigate a continuous manufacturing process for thin films with highly ordered structures that can serve as structural templates for electrodes and charge separators. The templates will be made from the self-assembly of regular spherical particles spread as a suspension continuously onto a moving substrate. The PhD will develop methods to observe the self-assembly process, and use these insights to optimise the structure formation process, assisted by machine learning. The project will also investigate new continuous processes to convert these templates into battery components.
By gaining experience in state of the art battery manufacturing methods, including roll to roll solution casting via slot die and blade spreading, process optimisation tools such as machine learning, and process metrology, the student will develop a highly desirable skill set which will be attractive to a rapidly growing industry sector. The PhD student will benefit from the large range of expertise, interaction with several related research programs, and facilities for energy storage research in the host department. The PhD will provide full training in the project specific skills, and is suitable for applicants from a relevant a physical science or engineering background with a keen interest in conducting materials research to address a key societal challenge.
Please see this link for information on how to apply: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/cbe/postgraduate/phd/how-apply. Please include the name of your proposed supervisor and the title of the PhD project within your application.
Applicants should have a 1st or 2.1 Honours Degree in Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry or a relevant Engineering discipline. If English is not your first language then you must have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 6.0 in each component, or equivalent. Please see this link for further information: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/apply/english-language.