Engineering: Fully Funded EPSRC and Helmholtz Institute Ulm PhD Scholarship: Development of advanced cathode materials for sodium-ion batteries

Project Description

This scholarship is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU), Germany.

Start date: October 2021

Subject areas: Electrochemical Energy storage, Batteries

Project supervisors: Dr Anji Reddy Munnangi (Swansea University, UK) and Professor Maximilian Fichtner (HIU, Germany)

This is an excellent opportunity to work on ever expanding area of energy storage. This PhD work will focus on the development of advanced single crystal cathode materials for sodium-ion batteries. This a collaborative project between Swansea University and Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU), Germany. The selected student will have the opportunity to visit HIU for few months and other collaborators lab.

At SU the PhD will be developed within the Energy Storage group which is part of the newly created Centre of Excellence ‘CAPTURE’ at the Faculty of Science and Engineering. CAPTURE (Circular Applications To Utilise and Retain Energy) is an interdisciplinary research centre dedicated to the development of a circular approach to the manufacture and management of energy storage solutions.

Sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) offer a cost-effective solution to state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). One of the major issues that hinder the commercial aspect of SIBs is the lack of stable cathode materials. Similar to LIBs, layered cathode materials are attractive for SIBs. However, significant volume change associated with Na-intercalation and deintercalation results in fast capacity fading for SIBs. Further, layered cathode materials are less stable in the air, making them less suitable for water processing. Recently single-crystal layered cathode (SCLC) materials shown to be promising for LIBs. The use of SCLC greatly improved the cycling stability and thermal stability. With these attributes, we studied SCLC for SIBs. Indeed excellent results were achieved with SCLC for SIBs. The selected student will further extend this concept to develop other cathode materials for SIBs.

Funding Information

This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,609.

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates should hold a minimum of an upper second class (2:1) honours degree (or its equivalent) in Chemistry, Materials Engineering.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK candidates only.

Application Process

Apply online here.

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