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PhD Studentship: Development of Nanomaterial Coating and Stabilising Strategies

School of Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Saturday 18 May 2019
Reference:  1042218DA

Project: MECHENG-BIO-531

Fully funded 3-year DSTL industrial PhD studentship.

There are unmet needs to develop effective materials to absorb infra-red (IR) light, e.g., for IR signature management. With unique optoelectronic properties, nanoparticles especially in non-spherical shape have demonstrated to be spectral selective absorbers, where the electromagnetic absorption bands strongly depend on nanoparticles’ geometries. However, it is challenging to synthesise such nanoparticles with desired geometries and properties in a controllable and reproducible format, and formulate them into stable materials for large-scale production. 

This project aims to develop nanocomposite coatings (paints) incorporating silver nanorods (AgNRs) to selectively absorb IR electromagnetic bands. Chemistries will first be optimised for nanoparticle formation with controllable geometries. Encapsulation of the AgNRs to form stable nanoparticles with functional groups for suitable inclusion into polymers will then be established. Together with a parallel going PhD project, the formation of nanocomposite coatings in large-scale using continuous flow reactors will be developed and evaluated as IR blockers. This project will be conducted jointly by Engineering and Chemistry through an interdisciplinary approach drawing on diverse expertise and unique infrastructure available across disciplines.

Candidate Requirements: Students with at least an upper second (2:1) class degree in a relevant discipline (e.g., Chemistry, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering) are invited to apply. Research experience or a Master’s degree in a related area would be highly beneficial. UK/EU nationals only (due to funding restrictions).

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof Xunli Zhang, Engineering, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 5099, or Dr Eugen Stulz, Chemistry, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 9369. Further information about the research groups can be found on; 

Funding and Eligibility

The funding is available to UK/EU nationals only (due to funding restrictions). The PhD studentship provides support for 3 years and includes a stipend at the standard EPSRC rate (£14,777 pro-rated for 2018/19), PhD tuition fees at home student rate, research expenses, travel and transferable-skills training. Sponsor: The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

How to Apply

Click the here to apply and select the programme - PhD in Engineering and the Environment. Please enter the title of the PhD Studentship in the application form.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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