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Exploration of Novel Fuel Cell Materials

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A McLaughlin
    Prof J M S Skakle
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Fuel cells convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy with high efficiency and low emission of pollutants. In a fuel cell the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen produces water and electricity and as such provides a clean alternative to fossil fuels. The solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is highly efficient, stable, and operates over a wide temperature range (650 – 800°C). Applications include auxiliary power units in cars and heat engine energy recovery devices. In order to reduce system costs it is highly desirable to find new materials which exhibit significant ionic conductivity at lower temperatures (< 650°C).
The project will focus on the synthesis of novel transition metal oxides containing molybdenum or tungsten which exhibit high oxide ion conductivity at low temperatures (< 650°C). The materials will be synthesised via conventional solid state chemistry techniques and analysed by powder X-ray and neutron diffraction, ac impedance, and thermogravimetric analysis.
There will also be the opportunity to attend conferences and training courses.

The applicant should have, or expect to have, an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above in chemistry, physics, materials science or a related discipline. Knowledge of solid state synthesis and X-ray diffraction would be highly desirable, but not essential.
Transition metal chemistry, electronic properties.

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project, it is for self-funded students only.


Formal applications can be completed online: You should apply for PhD in Chemistry, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing. Please ensure that you quote the project title and supervisor on the application form.

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr A McLaughlin, ([email protected]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([email protected]).

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