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INSTITUTE FOR MATERIALS DISCOVERY

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PhD Studentship Opportunities

A 3-year PhD studentship in the high-performance zinc ion batteries (D/L 31/03/2022)

Supervisor: Dr Buddha Deka Boruah, Institute for Materials Discovery (IMD), University College London (UCL)

Application deadline: 31st March 2022

Interview date: Mid-April 2022

Start date: September 2022

UCL Institute for Materials Discovery (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/institute-for-materials-discovery/) is offering a fully funded PhD studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in September 2022.  The student will carry out his/her doctoral research at UCL.


The aim of the project is the development of high-capacity cathode materials for aqueous zinc ion batteries. The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second-class Honours degree or equivalent in materials science, chemistry, chemical engineering, or related subjects. Candidates with a keen interest in new materials development and characterisation for zinc ion batteries are encouraged to apply. Key responsibilities of the candidate include the development of advanced cathode materials, structuring of electrodes, advanced electrochemical testing, and in-situ/ex-situ experimental investigation to study in-depth understanding the charge storage mechanisms. The candidate will conduct primary research activities in the Institute for Materials Discovery (IMD) with a well-funded consumables budget and access to a wide range of experimental facilities.

Interested candidates should initially contact the supervisor, Dr. Buddha Deka Boruah at b.boruah@ucl.ac.uk, with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in these projects. Informal inquiries are encouraged. Please note that a suitable applicant will be required to complete MS Form entitled Application for Research: degree Chemistry programme. In addition, it is essential that suitable applicants complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply (please select Research degree: Chemistry programme) prior to the application deadline and advise their referees to submit their references as soon as they possibly can. All shortlisted applicants will be invited for the interview no more than 4 weeks after the application deadline.

The interview process will include a short data analysis project and the preparation of a small report to summarise its results. Any admissions queries should be directed to Alex Balciunas at a.balciunas@ucl.ac.uk

Applications are welcome from UK nationals, EU students with settled/pre-settled status and students with indefinite leave to remain or enter. Please note that the studentship only covers home fees. The updated rules for eligibility for home fees for next year are available at View Website.

Applications will be accepted until the application deadline.

 

A 3-year PhD studentship in the Next Generation of Eco-friendly and High-performance Solar Cells (D/L: 30/05/2022)

UCL:  Institute for Materials Discovery
Hours: Full Time

About the Project

Applications are invited for a 3-year funded PhD studentship to join the Functional Materials and Optoelectronic Device group led by Dr Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi at the Institute for Materials Discovery (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/institute-for-materials-discovery/FMED), University College London.

This is a 3-year funded exciting project, to begin in October 2022, which aims to discover, design and characterise emerging non-toxic semiconductors and optimise them for next generation of eco-friendly solar cells at the UCL Institute for Materials Discovery.

Solar energy technology is one of the most promising solutions to minimizing our dependence on fossil fuel–based energy sources to meet net zero carbon emissions goals by 2050. Halide perovskites are exciting materials for the next generation of high-performance solar cells with the power conversion efficiency >25%. However, many of these halide perovskites suffer from several issues that currently preclude their use in widespread commercial applications, including Pb toxicity, air and moisture sensitivity, and crystalline phase instability.

The PhD project will focus on the synthesis and solution processing of novel non-toxic materials as the absorber layer in solar cells (such as lead-free perovskites) and characterisation of thin-films and solar cells via the use a range of advanced techniques such as time-resolved photoluminescence and impedance spectroscopy as well as structural and morphological techniques to correlate charge transport properties with material structure and solar cell performance and stability. Such understanding will guide better material and device design, in turn pushing eco-friendly solar cells to their performance limits with long-term stability. 

The group’s research focuses on the structure, optical and electronic properties of advanced functional materials particularly emerging semiconductors including metal halide perovskites, nanostructured metal oxides and other organic semiconductors and incorporating them in optoelectronic devices such as solar photovoltaics (PV), photodetectors and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). We actively involve in exploitation of the academic research into actual products and bridging the gap between fundamental science and technology exploitation with active industrial collaborations for technology transfer into multiple emerging markets including photovoltaics, the Internet of things (IoT) and consumer electronics. There are also opportunities to participate in outreach and media activities, and dissemination via conferences and workshops.

The successful candidate must have (or expect to obtain) a 1st or strong 2:1 degree in materials science/engineering, chemistry, physics, electrical/chemical engineering and/or a broad range of relevant backgrounds with minimum four years of study at University level. Candidates with a keen interest in new materials development, energy materials, thin-film deposition and device fabrication technology and materials characterisations are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will have a strong interest in materials design and experimental work. They should demonstrate strong initiative and a desire to learn and ability to innovate, as well as excellent oral and written communication skills, good team working skills, and a strong critical thinking capability. 

The successful candidate will conduct research in the state-of-the-art new Materials Discovery laboratory (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/institute-for-materials-discovery) with a well-funded consumables budget and access to a wide range of experimental facilities. This highly interdisciplinary research will involve many national and international academic and industrial collaborations. The group provides a dynamic, collaborative, interdisciplinary environment with diverse, talented researchers.

Applications must include a full CV, research proposal (2-page maximum) and covering letter providing information on why you would be suitable for this opportunity and funding. Applications to be sent directly to Dr Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi (m.jalebi@ucl.ac.uk).

The project is expected to begin around October 2022. The vacancy will be available until a suitable candidate is found.


Funding Notes

The studentship would cover tuition fees and annual stipend of at least the Research Council minimum (currently £16,609) for eligible UK applicants. International and EU students may also be accepted on a self-funding basis.

For informal recruitment queries, or enquiries about self funded PhD studentships, please contact enquiries.materialsdiscovery@ucl.ac.uk