Nitrogen/sulphur-codoped graphene materials for electrochemical energy storage
The incorporation of heteroatoms, such as nitrogen (N) or sulphur (S), into carbon-based materials have aroused great interest due to their unique properties induced by N or S doping, because the N or S-containing functional groups can induce pseudocapacitive effects and improve the wettability of carbon materials to electrolyte solution. These properties include electrocatalytic activity, hydrogen adsorption, high electrochemical capacity, rechargeable battery performance, photoactivity, and p-type semiconductor property.
In the study, the nitrogen and sulphur-functionalized graphene materials (NSG) will be fabricated from some biological materials by a solid-state reaction. Natural protein or keratin materials with N and S elements will be used as carbon sources which will be effectively transformed into a graphene sheets under the catalysis of metallic elements. The introduction of nitrogen and sulfur functional groups leads to additional pseudocapacitance. The study will open an avenue for the design and synthesis of functional graphene aerogel-based materials to meet the needs of further applications in energy storages/conversion devices, biosensors and electrocatalysis.
Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of at least the Research Council minimum (currently £14,057) for eligible UK and EU applicants. EU nationals must have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the programme to be eligible for a full award (fees and stipend). Other EU nationals may be eligible for a fees-only award.
Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in Materials Science or a relevant physical science subject.