Applications are sought for a funded joint PhD position joint between the University of Birmingham (UoB) and Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) in Berlin. Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous in our portable electronics but, in order to meet societies’ ever-increasing energy-storage demands, developing electrode materials with higher energy density and improved sustainability is critical. Mechanochemistry (solvent-free synthesis by mechanical force) is a transformative technology for robust, environmentally benign materials synthesis.
This project will use mechanochemical synthesis to produce and understand new electrode materials for lithium- and sodium-ion batteries. Materials will be characterised using state-of-the-art techniques including in situ and ex situ X-ray diffraction, X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and pair distribution function (PDF) analysis, with particular emphasis on the use of large-scale synchrotron facilities. The information from these studies will lead the design of optimised strategies for the synthesis of new materials.
The project will involve aspects of materials synthesis, electrochemical characterisation and advanced X-ray characterisation and modelling, and will provide extensive training in a range of state-of-the-art research techniques, which are directly applicable to a career in academia or industry. The student will also receive training in a diverse range of transferable skills, ensuring competitiveness in any employment sector.
The University of Birmingham was founded in 1900 on an anti-discrimination ethos accepting men and women on an equal basis. Today, as a community of over 150 nationalities in one of the UK’s most vibrant cities, we remain committed to promoting equality, diversity and fairness irrespective of age, disability, gender, pregnancy or marital status, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity. Established in 1871, BAM is a senior scientific and technical Federal institute which focuses on the design and testing of materials, ensuring high standards for safety in technology and chemistry in Germany and abroad. Located in Berlin, one of Germany’s most international cities, BAM has a community of over 50 nationalities and works to promote equality in German science and technology.
Funding is available for 42 months; students will spend the first 21 months of the PhD at UoB and the second 21 months at BAM. Please note that the funding is only available for UK and German nationals, and that German nationals are eligible for UK home fees status.
Candidates should have or expect to receive a first or upper second (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, physics, materials science or other related discipline. Familiarity with solid-state chemistry, electrochemistry or crystallographic methods would be an advantage.
Applications should be made through the University of Birmingham’s online application system. Please contact Dr Phoebe Allan in advance of applying, providing a CV and cover letter summarising your research interests and previous experience. Further information can be obtained by emailing Dr Phoebe Allan ([Email Address Removed]) or Dr Adam Michalchuk ([Email Address Removed]).