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Processing of highly structured polymer nanocomposites


Project Description

Traditionally, polymer nanocomposite processing has focused on the optimization of nanoparticle dispersion in a polymer melt or solution. This is typically done through high shear mixing and leads to rather chaotic random organisations of 1D or 2D nanoparticles like carbon nanotubes or graphene in a polymer matrix. This absence of organisation is one of the main reasons why nanocomposites have often failed to deliver on their promise. The next generation polymer composites or nanocomposites need - similar to nature - be based on highly organised hierarchical structures where nanoparticles are organised at the micro- and nano-level. The creation of such hierarchical structures is directly influenced by processing. This experimental program aims to develop polymer processing strategies that will result in highly organised polymer nanocomposites. Such composites are expected to have improved mechanical and functional properties including mechanical strength or electrical and thermal conductivities for a range of applications including multilayer films, sensors, smart textiles or batteries.


DESIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND:

A minimum 2.1 undergraduate (BEng, MEng, BSc) and/or postgraduate masters’ qualification (MSc) in a science and technology field: Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Chemistry.

A successful candidate should have good experimental and analytical skills. Knowledge or experience in polymer processing and materials characterisation are desirable.

Funding Notes

Stipend: Standard Research Council Maintenance Award - £15,009 for 3.5 years. This PhD is available for a UK/EU applicant only.

TO APPLY
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