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PhD in organic redox chemistry and electrochemistry

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 08, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

A PhD position is available to design new redox-active organic small molecules for flow batteries. This project is in competition with other projects offered by the School of Physical Sciences for one of a number of Vice Chancellor’s PhD Studentships.

Given the intermittent nature of solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources, in addition to portable batteries grid-scale energy storage of renewables is a growing necessity for a future renewable economy. Flow batteries are rechargeable fuel cells which use reversible electrochemical reactions of small molecules in a pumped storage medium and are ideal for larger scale usage due to their decoupling of energy and power density, robust electrode chemistry and potentially indefinite lifetime. However, current state-of-the-art systems utilise vanadium as a redox mediator which has poor oxidation and reduction kinetics and a highly volatile spot price. Furthermore, the ultimate practical cell lifetimes are unknown for any class of flow batteries. We propose that redox-active organic molecules should have predictable, fully reversible redox chemistry and furthermore be electronically tunable to meet the needs of the application.

The aim of the project is to synthesise both positive and negative tunable electrochemical mediators, to investigate their electrochemical properties and test them in a prototype redox flow battery system. The student will be trained in both organic synthesis techniques as well as electrochemical analysis and flow chemistry, giving a broad range of skills in both synthetic and analytical chemical science.
The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent’s main campus in Canterbury under the supervision of Dr. Alexander Murray.

This PhD Studentship is due to start in September 2019.

Funding Notes

Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry or a related subject. This is in competition with other projects for a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, which would be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,777; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4260 per annum). This scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

How good is research at University of Kent in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 17.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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