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PhD Studentship in Development of Sustainable Battery Materials

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

A fully funded 3 year PhD studentship is available in the group of Dr John Griffin at the Department of Chemistry, Lancaster University, commencing in October 2018.

The subject of the PhD project will the synthesis and characterisation of next-generation battery electrode materials based on metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). A defining feature of MOFs is their inherently microporous structures, and recent research has shown that these pores can act as channels for the transport of lithium and sodium ions in battery electrodes. This opens up the possibility to build organic batteries using cheap and sustainable carbon-based materials instead of conventional materials which are based on transition metal oxides.

The project will focus on preparing prototype lithium- and sodium-based MOFs and using them to construct battery test cells to evaluate their electrochemical properties. This will be coupled studying the precise chemical mechanisms of lithation and sodiation using advanced analytical techniques including solid-state NMR and X-ray crystallography. The overall aim is to link the bulk electrochemical properties to the atomic-level changes taking place in the electrode, and then to use this information to design new MOF battery materials with improved properties.

This project is funded through the Leverhulme Centre for Material Social Futures Research at Lancaster University. This is a major new strategic collaborative partnership between two of the university’s recently formed research institutes – the Materials Science Institute and the Institute for Social Futures. Based in the Department of Chemistry, you will be part of a growing team of PhDs working across the university to create more sustainable and socially beneficial futures. In addition to training in Chemistry research, you will be trained to engage in diverse aspects of materials discovery and the analysis of social and economic structures to achieve these ends. In short, the goal of PhDs in Material Social Futures will be to help produce futures that people want and the world needs.

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a 1st class or 2:1 BSc or Masters-level degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science or a related discipline. The successful candidate will need to demonstrate excellent technical abilities, the desire to work in a multidisciplinary environment, willingness to learn, a collaborative attitude, and excellent written and oral communication skills.

Informal enquiries prior to submitting an application are encouraged and can be made directly to Dr John Griffin (). Applications should be made via Lancaster University’s online application system ( Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the position may be filled when a suitable candidate has been identified. Please indicate on your application that you are applying for this funded PhD project.

The Department of Chemistry at Lancaster University provides a research environment that strongly supports the individual needs of each student, and promotes a healthy work-life balance. We are committed to the Athena Swan Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research. Our commitment to these principles is reflected in our recent receipt of an Athena Swan Bronze Award. The Department of Chemistry also operates an informal PhD peer-peer mentor scheme available to all students.

Funding Notes

The studentships will cover fees at the UK/EU rate plus the standard maintenance stipend (£14,777 for 2018/19).

How good is research at Lancaster University in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 12.00

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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