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Electrodeposited nano-structured coatings for nuclear industry applications

   School of Physics

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  Prof W Schwarzacher  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The project:

Electrodeposition can deliver high quality nano-structured coatings at very low cost. It operates at ambient temperatures and pressures, and has the further advantage that it can coat components with complex geometries, because deposition takes place wherever the surface is exposed to electrolyte. This project will explore the deposition, radiation tolerance and corrosion resistance of nano-crystalline, amorphous and compositionally modulated electrodeposited films with thicknesses up to a few tens of µm.  

Our reference material will be electrodeposited nanocrystalline Ni prepared using well-established pulse plating techniques. For the purposes of comparison with nanocrystalline coatings, we shall also electrodeposit amorphous Co-P and Co-W. The radiation tolerance of Co-W could be enhanced because W is a much heavier atom.  In a key part of this project, we shall then electrodeposit artificially layered materials in which the total thickness can be as high as several µm, but the individual layer thicknesses are down to a few nm. Layering is expected to provide an effective barrier to damage propagation, and this study could provide unique insight into the mechanisms of radiation damage and corrosion resistance in nano-structured metals. Pulse electrodeposition from a single-electrolyte, a technique in which Bristol has internationally leading expertise, will be used to produce Ni-Cu multilayers with different repeat distances in the sub-nm to few-nm range to establish how boundary spacing affects coating properties.  

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Candidate requirements: 

Candidates should have completed an undergraduate degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) in Physics or Physical Chemistry

How to apply:

Please make an online application for this project at Please select ‘Physics (PhD)’ on the Programme Choice page. Please make sure you include the title of the studentship (Electrodeposited nano-structured coatings for nuclear industry applications) and the contact supervisor (Prof Walther Schwarzacher) at the start of your Personal Statement.

Funding Notes

This studentship can be fully funded under the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. Funding will cover tuition fees at the UK student level and an annual stipend for up to three and half years at the standard UKRI stipend rate (currently £15,609 per annum for 2021/22). China Scholarship Council applicants also welcome.
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