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Development of a non-noble metal catalyst for the electroless plating process

Faculty of Engineering, Environment & Computing

Dr Sofya Danilova , Prof Andrew Cobley , Dr Veronique Vitry Sunday, February 28, 2021 Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Coventry United Kingdom Nanotechnology Other Other Synthetic Chemistry

About the Project

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship.

Electroless plating is a low-cost method of metal deposition which is used in the electronics, automotive, and oil and gas industries. This method is often used to metallise non-conductive materials such as plastic, ceramic, glass and textiles. This technique requires prior deposition of catalyst to initiate the electroless plating reaction.

Currently, the most commonly used catalyst is Pd-based. However, this catalyst is expensive and according to a recent EU report, Pd supply is at high risk in the next 30 years. Therefore, non-noble metal catalysts are of high academic and commercial interest due to their low cost and abundancy of precursor material.

This exciting PhD programme will investigate non-noble metal catalysts to initiate the electroless plating process. The project will be a collaboration between University of Mons, Belgium and Coventry University, UK. This cotutelle programme will give you experience of different scientific environments, different cultures, and help to expand your professional network.

Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

The PhD will be a co-tutelle with University of Mons. The successful applicants will receive training at both Mons and Coventry in a wide range of electrochemical deposition techniques and surface analysis and chemical and elemental characterisation. By experiencing and living in 2 different countries the PhD will also provide the student with a wide cultural experience and they will receive a PhD from each institution

Entry criteria for applicants to PHD 

·        A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. 


the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years

·        a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

For further details see:

 How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Dr. Sofya Danilova

To apply online please visit: 

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

Key dates:

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2021

Duration of study: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Funding Notes

Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU/International)

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