Name of scholarship/program
Towards greener energy: Computational path-finding for materials optimization of solid oxide fuel cells
The commercially important oxide “ceria” (CeO2) is used in several environmentally important applications, including car exhaust catalysts, gas sensors, and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). This project will use advanced atomic scale quantum mechanical computer modelling (density functional theory, DFT, using existing codes, rather than programming,) to study key processes where the current limited atomic level understanding hampers device development, and where computational prototyping of novel solutions can direct and speed experimental progress. Key processes include electron transfer in Cu/ceria nanocomposites and the movement of vacancies and self-trapped electrons (polarons) at/within ceria grain boundaries, and how to control these and related processes by alloying or doping, in order to help optimize SOFC performance. This project would train you in forefront computational methods for the simulation and atomic scale study of material properties; methods which are equally applicable to many other important questions in materials physics, chemistry and engineering.
Eligibility and other criteria
First class or upper second class UK BSc (Hons) degree (or equivalent), or MSc/MRes, in Physics or chemistry.
Applications can be accepted from UK/EU and also International students. The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with no element to be below 6.0) or TOEFL 560/iBT 94-95.
Full-time PhD registration is for a minimum of three years and a maximum of four years.
Home/EU tuition fees: £3,900 (likely to rise in each subsequent year)
International tuition fees: £11,600 (likely to rise in each subsequent year)
Bench fee (annual): around £4,500, to be clarified at interview
If a student has not submitted his/her thesis by the end of year 3, he/she is required to enrol for a fourth year and pay the Completion Year Fee to enable him/her to complete and submit the thesis. The Completion Year Fee is £550 for 2013/14 (increases every year). No Bench fee is payable in year 4.
* Applications accepted all year round
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