Hybrid Graphene-Polymer Nanocomposites


   Department of Materials

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The scope of this project is to investigate the possibilities for the use of nanocomposites based on graphene (and other 1D, 2D and 3D nanomaterials) in a broad range of thermoplastic polymers, with focus on engineering and high-performance engineering polymers. The applications of the nanocomposites will be focused on but not limited to; mechanical properties, thermal properties, electrical properties, gas barrier properties and rheological properties.

A promising approach that has attracted scientific interest for the preparation of graphene-based composites is the use of hybrid fillers, which consist of graphene-based materials in combination with a second 1D, 2D or 3D material. The combination of the two materials may lead to enhanced properties for the final product as a result of additive or synergistic effects between the two fillers. The hybridisation procedure can result in the production of new materials with multifunctional properties.

The main goal of this research project is to use melt compounding processes to develop and upscale graphene-based hybrid thermoplastic nanocomposites with enhanced properties compared to the current available products on the market. This project is an industrial collaboration with Colloids (https://colloids.com/). Colloids is a leading manufacturer of thermoplastic masterbatches and compounds providing enhanced mechanical, electrical, thermal and aesthetic properties to a broad range of commercially available polymers (amorphous and semi-crystalline).

This project will have access to the fabrication and characterisation facilities available within the Department of Materials, National Graphene Institute (NGI), the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), Royce Institute, as well as collaboration with the industrial partner Colloids.

Experience in experimental nanocomposite research is required and a familiarity with nanomaterials is preferred, but not essential. An interest in working closely with the industrial partner is also essential.

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry or a related subject.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder).

All appointments are made on merit.

Please see the application process at: https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/admissions/how-to-apply/


Funding Notes

This project is an industrial collaboration with Colloids (View Website). Colloids is a leading manufacturer of thermoplastic masterbatches and compounds providing enhanced mechanical, electrical, thermal and aesthetic properties to a broad range of commercially available polymers (amorphous and semi-crystalline).

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