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Optimising the nanoscale behaviour of novel materials for energy applications

Project Description

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship

Project Details

The preparation of advanced material compositions has led to a wide range of applications. The contribution of smart materials, i.e. materials that can be manipulated by external stimuli, can provide new solutions in the nanoscale to address challenges in industrial sectors, e.g aerospace, robotics, automotive, and electronics. This project aims to understand and optimise the behaviour of a material at the nanoscale by studying the doping and defect processes and controlling the diffusion of novel smart materials, specifically for energy¬ related applications.

This study is vital for the development of two­dimensional (2D), MXenes, based energy devices. MXenes are a few atoms thick exhibiting metallic conductivities. The examination and optimisation of the nanostructuring of such smart materials, will improve their efficiency for energy storage and power capacity, and increase their safety.

Finally, this study is appropriate for applications in crucial industrial sectors where the risk must be reduced to the lowest available level, as well as, for automotive applications and mobile phone batteries where the devices are very close to people and possible failure can cause injuries.

Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.
All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Entry criteria for applicants to PhD

• A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.


• the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
• a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

• Physics degree or related discipline.
• Very good knowledge of Solid State Physics /Materials physics, Statistical physics, quantum mechanics.
• Very good knowledge of Linux, Bash, Python, C, FORTRAN
• Computational modelling experience is an advantage

Experience of (or a willingness to learn) experimental and theoretical methods, High-Performance Computing, Machine learning.

For further details see:

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Stavros Christopoulos
To apply on line please visit:

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Start date: Jan 2020

Duration of study: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Enquiries: Dr Stavros Christopoulos

Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and Physics

Funding Notes

The Lloyd's Register Foundation International Consortium of Nanotechnologies (LRF-ICON) grant and the Coventry University will cover the following expenses:

Stipend, fees, consumables, Travel, Access to HPC

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