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INSTITUTE FOR MATERIALS DISCOVERY

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Vacancies

IMD Vacancies will be posted here as soon as they become available. 

A full list of PhD and MSc opportunities can be found on our Prospective Students page.

 

Current Vacancies

3-year PhD studentship in the Next Generation of Eco-friendly and high-performance Solar Cells

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/), University College London.

This is a 3-year funded exciting project, to begin in February/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 February or 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.

Full Details and Apply

Research Fellow in Electrochemical system for Sustainable CO2 Capture

UCL:  Institute for Materials Discovery (IMD)
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract

Duties and Responsibilities

Applications are invited for a Research Fellow post at the Institute for Materials Discovery, University College London.

This is an exciting project that aims to deliver next generation electrochemical system for sustainable direct CO2 capture and utilization/storage as clean solar fuel on industrial scale in line with carbon circular economy via an innovative electrochemical system for low-energy-consuming, efficient/selective direct and continuous CO2 capture and conversion to methanol. The system is designed to operate at Standard Ambient Temperature and Pressure in a low-cost electrochemical (EC) reactor with 100% Faradaic efficiency (FE) and high durability.

Methanol is a clean, sustainable liquid fuel (near-zero NOx/SOx and pollutant emission) that can be stored on a large scale for a long time and used to replace fossil fuels as a means of energy storage, transportation fuel, and feedstock for synthetic hydrocarbons and their products, or even used directly in fuel cells. The post holder will work on the materials design and cutting-edge materials development, chemical precursor formulation and ink development, deposition and characterization, and process optimization of: (a) electrocatalyst nanostructure; (b) interlayer; and (c) membrane followed by implementation of scalable manufacturing techniques to develop photovoltaic-EC prototype package. The post-holder will also work on sustainability assessment, environmental impact and modelling of the life cycle assessment as well as socio-economic analysis including regulatory measurements of the developed PV-EC technology.

The project involves strong national and international academic and industrial collaboration. In addition to the duties outlined above, the post holder will be required to actively involved in materials translational activities, development of prototype package, education and collaboration, and development of online translation, present results and reports at progress meetings, prepare papers for publication and contribute to research project supervision.

The appointment is available immediately.

The funds for this post are available for 18 months in the first instance.

Key Requirements

PhD or equivalent in Materials Science/Engineering, Materials Chemistry, Physics and/or a broad range of relevant backgrounds in Science / Engineering degree. The successful candidate will have a keen interest in new materials design, precursor formulation, deposition, characterization, and optimization of electrocatalyst nanostructure as well as device/prototype package fabrication and performance evaluation. The project also requires a highly motivated candidate with keen interest in sustainability assessment, modelling of the life cycle assessment as well as socio-economic analysis of a new technology.

 

Further Details

A job description and person specification can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

To apply for the vacancy please click on the ‘Apply Now’ button below.

For informal enquiries about the role, please contact Dr Mojtaba Abdi Jalebi – m.jalebi@ucl.ac.uk.

Please send any queries regarding the vacancy or the application process to Ms Jo Donkin, j.donkin@ucl.ac.uk as we wish to encourage online applications.

UCL Taking Action for Equality
Closing Date 07 December 2021
Latest time for the submission of applications 
23:59
Interview date
 TBC

Full Details and Apply

3-Year PhD Studentship - MXene-based Electrodes for Energy Storage

UCL:  Institute for Materials Discovery
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: £16,609

Keywords:
Materials Science, Electrochemistry, Energy Materials, Physical Chemistry, MXene

Applications are invited for a 3-year funded PhD studentship on a project supervised by Dr Yohan Dall’Agnese, Lecturer in Energy Storage at the Institute for Materials Discovery (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/institute-for-materials-discovery/), University College London.

This exciting project aims to design the next generation of electrochemical energy storage (batteries and supercapacitors) based on a novel family of nanomaterials called MXenes. MXenes are a large family of two-dimensional transition metal carbides and nitrides, and are promising candidates as electrode materials for energy storage due to their large specific surface area, fast charge storage ability, excellent electronic/ionic conductivity, and high mechanical strength.

The PhD project will focus on the synthesis of novel electrode materials (such as new MXenes’ composition and morphology) and characterisation for a wide range of electrochemical energy storage technologies (such as lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, potassium-ion batteries, magnesium-ion batteries, and supercapacitors).

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 storage, materials characterisations, and lab-based experimental work are encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate will conduct research in the state-of-the-art 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 national and international academic collaborations.

Applications must include a full CV, two referees contact information, research proposal (500 words maximum), and covering letter/email providing information on why you would be suitable for this opportunity and funding. Applications to be sent directly to Dr Yohan Dall’Agnese (y.dallagnese@ucl.ac.uk).

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.

The project is expected to begin around September 2021. The vacancy will be available until a suitable candidate is found.

UCL Taking Action for Equality
Closing Date 30 June 2021
Latest time for the submission of applications
 23:59
Interview date
 TBC

Full Details and Appl

3-Year PhD Studentship - Development of Emerging Materials for Energy Harvesting Applications

UCL:  Institute for Materials Discovery
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: £16,057

Materials Science, Energy Materials, Physical Chemistry

About the project:

Applications are invited for a 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/), University College London.

This is a 3-year funded exciting project, to begin in September 2021, which aims to discover, design and characterise emerging energy materials and optimise them for next generation of energy harvesting devices for Internet of things (IoT) and consumer electronics at UCL Institute for Materials Discovery.

The PhD project will focus on two key areas: (i) the design and development of emerging semiconductor materials and devices including perovskites and perovskite-inspired materials for applications including photovoltaics and photodetectors; and (ii) characterisation of thin-films and devices via the use of time-resolved and impedance spectroscopy as well as structural and morphological techniques to correlate the local recombination and charge transport properties with material structure and device performance. Such understanding will guide better material and device design, in turn pushing devices to higher performances. 

The group’s research focuses on the 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 investigate novel materials and device photo-physics via spectroscopy as a powerful tool to understand their characteristics in different length and time scales, unveil the origin of instability and maximize the output of the optoelectronic devices.  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. We also have a strong emphasis on making our work accessible to the public through outreach and media activities.

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 fabrication technology and materials characterisations are encouraged to apply. The project also requires highly practical candidate with keen interest in designing and upgrading a purpose-built thin film characterisation kit or deposition equipment and device fabrication. 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, written work (e.g. research statement) 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).

 

Funding Notes

The studentship would cover tuition fees and annual stipend of at least the Research Council minimum (currently £16,057) for eligible UK applicants. International and EU students may also be accepted on a self-funding basis.
The position will be available until a suitable candidate is found

Full Details and Apply

 

For informal recruitment queries, please contact enquiries.materialsdiscovery@ucl.ac.uk