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 We are  recruiting 5PhD positions in Batteries and Functional Nanomaterials in 2019  

Closing date for Applications February 15th 2019. Email only the following as 1 PDF document (4 pages total) to nanoresearchul@gmail.com Cover letter (1 page max) stating the position you are interested in and why you want to pursue a PhD by research in this area and CV (3 pages max) that includes your contact details including skype ID. Please do not send any additional materials such as transcripts or copies of papers these will be requested later. Earliest Project start dates 1st March 2018.


Essential • Hold either an honours (first or second class (2:1)) Masters degree in Chemistry, Material Science, Physics or an honours (first or second class (2:1)) bachelor degree in Chemistry, Material Science, Physics or relevant discipline. • Self-motivated with proven organisational skills to prioritise and deliver agreed objectives. • Demonstrated strong work ethic and with the ability of working both alone and with a team. • Be able to work independently, demonstrate initiative, be versatile and productive. • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.


  • Previous project experience in nanomaterial synthesis. • Previous project experience in battery testing of nanomaterials. • Report and paper writing experience.


Project backgrounds: Improved battery technology is required for future electric vehicles (EVs) to remove the primary hurdle for increased uptake (so called ‘range anxiety’) and allow users to travel further on a single charge. The dominant technologies for EVs are based on lithium chemistries (Li-ion), as they boast the highest demonstrated performance. However, there is significant potential for improving the performance of Li-ion batteries through active material enhancements, with higher energy densities achievable. Silicon (Si) is a particularly promising active material for future high performance anodes as it can store significantly more Li than current anodes based on graphite. ‘Beyond Li-ion’ technologies have also recently gained attention. Al-ion batteries have significant disruptive potential as a result of their high theoretical energy densities and inherent sustainability (due to the abundance of Al). Three of the PhD. projects will focus on the development of novel Si based anodes for Li-ion batteries, using nanostructured morphologies that deliver high performance for practical applications. The Al-ion based PhD project will focus on the development of nanostructured carbon cathode materials, to improve the performance and increase the mechanistic understanding of Al-ion batteries.

PhD 1&2: PhD studentships in Current collector formation for high performance Si based Li-ion anode formation: These studentships are funded as part of a Horizon 2020 European Union project. One of the main challenges of Si based anodes is the production of high areal loading structures that deliver practical capacities suitable for real-world applications. The aim of this project is to develop high surface area current collectors for nanostructured Si anodes using solution based growth techniques. These current collectors will allow for high loadings of the active materials, with Si coating aided through collaboration with an industrial collaborator. The student will perform extensive structural characterisation of the anodes, followed by electrochemical testing of the materials and post-cycling examination.

PhD 3: PhD studentship in Si nanostructure growth for Li-ion anodes: This studentship is funded by Science Foundation Ireland. The aim of the project is to develop different morphologies of Si active materials with the goal of optimising their Li-ion battery properties. Following the development of active Si architectures, full-cell testing will be carried out against different cathode materials, to fully gauge the improvements compared to state of the art cells. An important consideration within the project will be the nature of the solid electrolyte interphase formed during cycling and its changes over time. In-situ lithiation of the active materials will also be investigated to visualize the impact of morphology on the material evolution.

PhD 4: PhD studentship in carbon cathode development for Al-ion batteries: This studentship is funded by Science Foundation Ireland. The project will involve the development of different forms of nanostructured carbon to enhance the reversibility of the Al-ion battery system. These studies will focus on controlling the size, shape and porosity of the carbon materials generated, to tune the properties of the resultant cathodes. In depth electrochemical testing will be coupled with materials analysis, to gain further insight into mechanistic aspects of Al-ion operation.

PhD 5: PhD Studentship in Electric field controlled assembly of functional Nanostructures

Design of Functional nanomaterials in ordered arrangements can lead to innovative properties that go way beyond the capabilities of conventional materials. The PhD project will involve synthesis of nanostructures and the use of electric fields to control their assembly on substrates from solution. The project will involve investigation of assembly under DC and AC field conditions. The complex nanostructured assemblies on substrates will be investigated in photovoltaic, thermoelectric and photonic applications. The successful candidate will work in the Nanotechnology Research Group (www.nanoresearchul.org) and will have opportunities to learn from experienced researchers within the group with expertise in both chemical syntheses and electric field assembly techniques. This studentship is funded by the Irish Research Council.