Birkbeck, University of London Featured PhD Programmes
Norwich Research Park Featured PhD Programmes
Norwich Research Park Featured PhD Programmes
Norwich Research Park Featured PhD Programmes
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg) Featured PhD Programmes


  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

"We have a vacancy for a PhD student to work on the synthesis and characterisation of functional inorganic materials. The project concerns the discovery of new thermoelectric materials, which can be used in devices for the direct conversion of heat into electrical power. A particularly attractive application of thermoelectric devices is in the recovery of waste heat from other processes, as this can lead to reduced energy costs, increased competitiveness and environmental gains through reduced usage of fossil fuels, with concomitant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.
This project aims to demonstrate that materials composed of conducting and insulating layers can lead to major improvements in the efficiency of thermoelectric energy recovery through two-dimensional confinement of charge carriers. This innovative concept will be exploited for the design and synthesis of new thermoelectric materials, containing abundant elements, and with good thermoelectric efficiencies.
The project will involve a blend of solid-state synthesis and structural and physical property characterisation (e.g. powder X-ray diffraction, electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient and thermal conductivity measurements). The group is a major user of central facilities (ISIS, Diamond) at the nearby Harwell campus, and there will be opportunities to characterise these materials by neutron diffraction or inelastic neutron scattering.
Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Paz Vaqueiro () .


Funding Notes

Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics, Materials or a related subject area.


"P. Vaqueiro, G. Guélou, A. Kaltzoglou, R. I. Smith, T. Barbier, E. Guilmeau and A. V. Powell, “The influence of mobile copper ions on the glass-like thermal conductivity of copper-rich tetrahedrites”, Chem. Mater., 29, 4080 (2017).
A. V. Powell and P. Vaqueiro, “Chalcogenide thermoelectric materials”, Chapter 2 in Thermoelectric Materials and Devices, RSC Energy & Environment Series N. 17 (2016).
G. Guélou, P. Vaqueiro, J. Prado-Gonjal, T. Barbier, S. Hébert, E. Guilmeau, W. Kochlemann and A. V. Powell, “The impact of charge transfer and structural disorder on the thermoelectric properties of cobalt intercalated TiS2”, J. Mater. Chem. C, 4, 1871 (2016).
P. Vaqueiro, R. A. R. Al Orabi, S. D. N. Luu, G. Guélou, A. V. Powell, R. I. Smith, J.-P. Song, D. Wee and M. Fornari, “The role of copper in the thermal conductivity of thermoelectric oxychalcogenides: do lone pairs matter?”, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17, 31735 (2015).
G. Guélou, A.V. Powell and P. Vaqueiro, “Ball milling as an effective route for the preparation of doped bornite: synthesis, stability and thermoelectric properties”, J. Mater. Chem. C, 3, 10624 (2015).


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