About the Project
The project aims to develop new nanostructured electrolytes with anisotropic ionic pathways that promote high proton conduction, via ion hopping, and ultimately enhance DMFC/DEFC efficiency under dry conditions. Liquid crystals will be used to regulate the electrolytes microstructure (and transport properties) by external stimuli such as temperature, electrical fields or UV light.
Specific objectives are:
- Synthesis of a series of liquid crystalline block copolymers, LC-BCs, containing polar groups in their structure4.
- Complete physic-chemical characterisation in order to determine relationships between the polymer composition/architecture and liquid crystal behaviour.
- Determination of proton conductivity and its correlation to the microstructure of the electrolytes.
- Determination of water and alcohol absorption, as a measure of fuel crossover.
The project will be carried out in the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen, using recently upgraded infrastructure, laboratories and equipment. All the experimental work will be supported by well-trained technicians, in company of other PhD, MSc and UG students, and in cooperation with several international groups.
The successful candidate should have, or expect to obtain, a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or relevant disciplines.
• Knowledge in polymer and liquid crystal science.
• Experience in synthetic laboratories, including structural and physic-chemical characterisation of organic compounds.
• Experience in data analysis.
• Familiarity with energy conversion processes.
The start date of the project is to be agreed with the supervisors.
2. Kumar P et al. Int J Energy Res 2014;38(11):1367-90
3. Kreuer K et al. Angew. Chem.-Int. Ed. En. 1982;21(3):208-9.
Awang N et al. React. Funct. Polym. 2015 ;86:248-58; Dutta K et al. Polym. Rev. 2014 2;54(1):1-32
4. Pebalk, D.A., et al. Russ. Chem. Rev, 2005. 74: 555–576; Martinez-Felipe A. Liq. Cryst. 2011 2011;38(11-12):1607-26; Montane X. et al. Polymer 2015 1;66:100-9; Martinez-Felipe A. et al. Polymer 2012 7;53(13):2604-12; Martinez-Felipe A. et al. Eur. Polym. Sci. 2013 2013;49(6):1553-63; Martinez-Felipe A. et al. I&EC Res. 2013 3;52(26):8714-21
Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU QUOTE THE PROJECT TITLE AND SUPERVISOR NAME ON THE APPLICATION FORM.
Informal inquiries can be made to Dr A Martinez-Felipe ([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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