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PhD Studentship Opportunity in Rational Design of Electrodes and Electrolyte for Energy Storage and In-situ Electrochemical Probing

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Y Zhao
    Prof S Silva
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project description
Developing high performance energy storage devices such as batteries or supercapacitors are important for portable electronics, vehicle electrification and smart grid, while developing techniques for electrochemical monitoring that offer higher spatial and temporal resolution would open up new ways to study electrochemical interfaces and reaction kinetics for further developing novel energy storage devices.

This project aims to develop the novel electrode materials with enlarged and stabilized ion diffusion channel for large alkali metal ion (Na+) and multivalent ion (Zn2+/Mg2+/Al3+) batteries as well as the corresponded pseudocapacitor. Based on the versatile material-electrochemical in-situ characterization platform, optimized electrode and different electrolyte will be tested simultaneously to understand and further optimize the electron/ion transport at the interface between electrode material and electrolyte. To discuss any details of the project informally prior to application, please feel free to contact Dr Yunlong Zhao ([Email Address Removed]).

The project will be performed within a vibrant and dynamic environment at Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) under the supervision of Dr. Yunlong Zhao ( and Prof. Ravi Silva (
The successful candidate will develop multidisciplinary skills in advanced materials synthesis, energy storage and in-situ electrochemical probing.

The ATI is one of University of Surrey’s world-leading research centres. It brings together researchers with an international outlook in Quantum Information, Nanotechnology, Energy and Advanced Materials, and has wide range of facilities for material synthesis, device fabrication, measurement and characterisation. The successful candidate will also get opportunity to work at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), which is one of a world-leading centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate standards, science and technology available.

Dr. Yunlong Zhao is Lecturer in Energy Storage in ATI (joint appointment with NPL). He has deep interest in understanding and further optimizing electron/ion transport at the interface between electrode material and energy storage systems via engineering micro-/nanoscale materials to enable novel energy storage devices, electrochemical sensor, and their 3D integration in flexible frameworks. His works have led to over 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals such as Nature, Nature Communications, PNAS and Nano Letters with citation for over 3900 times, and Google H-index of 27.
Prof. Ravi Silva is the director of ATI and Head of NanoElectronics Centre. His research has resulted in over 600 presentations at international conferences, and over 550 journal papers, over 17,000 citations (Google Scholar), and a Google H-factor of 66. His research interest encompasses a wide range of activities with a focus in nanotechnology and renewable energy.

Entry requirements
This post is initially for a period of three years for UK and EU students. Applicants with background for energy storage materials and devices, electrochemistry, nanofabrication are very welcome. Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper-second class degree in a relevant discipline or a lower second plus a good Master degree (distinction normally required). If English is not the first language, IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) is required, with no sub-test score less than 6.

How to apply
Formal applications should be submitted through our programme page. You should make clear in your application that you are applying for this studentship.

Start Date
April 2019 or July 2019.
Formal applications should be submitted through our programme page. You should make clear in your application that you are applying for this studentship.

Funding Notes

The studentship covers the full costs of UK/EU tuition fee, plus a stipend of approximately £ 14,777 p.a., in line with standard RCUK stipend levels [2018-2019].

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