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Phase boundary mapping for the discovery of improved thermoelectrics


School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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Dr J W Bos No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Thermoelectrics convert waste heat into electricity and are considered an important component of a sustainable energy future. This project aims to improve the performance of Zintl-type thermoelectric materials based on abundant elements using phase boundary mapping. This recently discovered approach allows for a systematic variation of the defect chemistry through careful exploration of the phase diagram. The PhD project will use this new approach to investigate a range of Heusler and Zintl phases which the research group has worked on extensively, and for which all necessary equipment is available in the research group. An example of recent work from our group can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b14525. The research will also include experiments at large neutron and synchrotron facilities, including the ISIS neutron and muon source and the Diamond Light Source.

The Institute of Chemical Sciences (ICS) is an excellent environment for PhD research, with a thriving community of academics, post-doctoral and PhD researchers spread across three sections: Molecular Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, and Dynamics and Structure. ICS also has many links to the other research institutes within the overall umbrella of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, providing a strong interdisciplinary theme to our research. Heriot-Watt University occupies an attractive campus site on the outskirts of Edinburgh, with excellent public transport links to the centre of one of the Europe’s most exciting cities.

Funding Notes

You should have, or expect to receive, a First or 2:1 Class MChem degree in Chemistry, or equivalent in a relevant related subject. This project is funded by an EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), providing tuition fees and a stipend (approx. £14,500) for 3.5 years, and is only available to UK & EU nationals resident in the UK for the last 3 years.
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