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Graphene Advanced Membrane Enhancement (MELENDIU16SF)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Melendi-Espina
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted

Project Description

Applications are invited to the Engineering Department in the School of Mathematics, for a PhD in the field of nanostructured thin film materials.

Graphene has generated huge interest due to its exceptional properties [1]. Graphene may be used in a wide variety of potential applications from next-generation transistors to lightweight and high-strength polymeric composite materials. Moreover, its defect free structure has also been considered a promising nanomaterial in gas- or liquid-barrier applications due to its unique chemical structure. Hence, graphene can be considered as an ultimate impermeable material that very well fulfils the criteria for an ideal nanocomposite barrier membrane [2].

Barrier membranes have broad applications ranging from packaging to preserve food, paints to protect metals and coatings to protect electronic circuits. Polymers are the favourite choice for barrier membranes due to their lower density, lower cost, ease of processability and recycling. However, for certain applications, their liquid and gas impermeability as well as their physical and chemical stability are not as good as those of some inorganic materials such as metals, ceramics and glasses.

This proposal aims to develop novel graphene composite films with enhanced barrier properties relative to currently employed materials by using graphene as nanofiller and testing different polymeric matrices. For this purpose, different deposition methods will be considered in a systematic manner, controlling the film thickness and deposition quality. Graphene-based thin films will be characterised using a variety of spectroscopic and microscopic techniques in order to assess their performance.

This is an exciting academic project in a topic that is currently receiving extensive worldwide attention and offers relevant industrial applications.

Applicants should hold or be completing an undergraduate honours degree with a 1st or a 2.1 classification.
Degrees in Material Science, Chemistry, Engineering and other related disciplines will be considered.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at http://bit.ly/1Jf7KCr

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


[1] Geim AK, Novoselov KS. The rise of graphene. Nat Mater (2007) 6:183–191.
[2] Bunch JS, Verbridge SS, Alden JS, van der Zande AM, Parpia JM, Craighead HG, McEuen PL. Impermeable atomic membranes from graphene sheets. Nano Letters (2008) 8: 2458-2462.

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