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Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes

Metal-nitrogen-hydrogen materials for solid state electrolytes


School of Chemistry

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About the Project

Applications from enthusiastic and motivated students are invited for a PhD project with Dr Josh Makepeace at the School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham.

Electrochemical devices are increasingly important to the energy system, enabling portable electronics, battery-powered transportation, and combined heat and power systems (among many more applications). With the increasing scope of demands for such devices, there is a need for materials with improved properties which can be used as the basis for next-generation products.

This project involves the development of new solid state ionic conductors based on metal-nitrogen-hydrogen materials. Ionic conductivity is a key property of a number of components of batteries and fuel cells, especially in the electrolytes which transport ions between the two electrodes. Solid electrolytes with high lithium ion conductivity are required for all-solid state batteries which may overcome safety concerns with existing liquid electrolytes and enable the use of lithium metal electrodes. Proton conductors which operate at moderate temperatures could also lower the cost and improve the durability of some fuel cell systems.

The researcher will be trained in the use of solid state, mechanochemistry and ammonia-based approaches for the synthesis of inorganic metal amide, imide and nitride materials. The materials will be characterised using structural (X-ray and neutron diffraction) and spectroscopic (Raman, NMR) methods, and then examined for their ionic conductivity and electrochemical stability. This project forms part of a larger research programme which seeks to demonstrate the use of metal-nitrogen-hydrogen materials across a range of energy-related applications.

Funding Notes

Funding is available for 3.5 years (fees + stipend) for UK/EU students only. The student should have obtained a strong Masters degree in Chemistry (or related) by the start of the project, and not already be in possession of a PhD. For more details, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Josh Makepeace.

The School of Chemistry is keen to achieve a gender and diversity balance and welcomes applicants from all backgrounds. The School holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognises its work in promoting women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in higher education.
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