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DTA - Entropic Stabilization of Hybrid Perovskites

   Department of Materials

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  Dr D Lewis, Prof Wendy Flavell, Dr Andrew Thomas  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Hybrid perovskites have revolutionized solar research in the past decade. Materials such as MAPI (CH3NH3PbI3) can act as absorber and is also able to separate charge over large distances, and power conversion efficiencies have risen beyond 20% as a result of this. One of the concerns that has troubled researchers is the degradation of the materials in the presence of water via transfer of the methylammonium proton. Approaches that currently exist to depress these effects include the engineering of PKa of the proton at the A site, as well as the replacement of the organic ion with an inorganic ion e.g. Cs+. However, the materials still show varying amounts of instability.  

However, recently a new paradigm has emerged that has defied the traditional picture of crystalline solids, which is the notion of high entropy materials.These are very different to traditional materials because they utilise increased disorder to minimise their free energy. In simple terms, this is achieved by adding various elements in equivalent amounts to either the cationic or anionic sublattices in the crystalline state to maximise the entropic mixing term, which in turn minimises the free energy of the solid. There are now a number of materials stabilised in this way including metals, metal oxides and metal sulfides and oxysulfides. In this PhD programme we will test the hypothesis that stabilization can be conferred on hybrid perovskites using this approach. We will make thin films of these new materials by both spin coating and CVD, and test their stability vs water using the latest operando XPS techniques. It is envisaged that a new paradigm for stabilization of hybrid perovskite materials will be established. 

Academic background of candidates

2.1 Materials Science or Chemistry degree / PG Masters in Materials Science or Chemistry 

At the University of Manchester, we pride ourselves on our commitment to fairness, inclusion and respect in everything we do. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and identities and encourage you to bring your whole self to work and study. We will ensure that your application is given full consideration without regard to your race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, age, marital or pregnancy status, or socioeconomic background. All PhD places will be awarded on the basis of merit.

To apply please follow the link below:

Funding Notes

This is a 3.5 year EPSRC DTA studentship. Funding will cover UK tuition fee and stipend only. The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of scholarships that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.
Start date: September 2022
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