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Lead-free materials for electrostatic energy storage


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Monday 29 April 2024
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
UK only
Competition funded
Source of funding
Doctoral training partnership
Dr Zhilun Lu
Additional supervisors
Professor Andrew Bell
School of Chemical and Process Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

This multidisciplinary project spans materials science, chemistry and physics to develop lead-free environmental friendly materials for enhanced electrostatic energy storage.<br /> <br /> With the environment and climate deteriorating, it is vital to speed up development of reliable energy storage devices that will allow renewable energy to be used indefinitely [1]. Chemical energy storage (e.g., batteries) and physical energy storage (e.g., capacitors) are the two primary types of energy storage technologies. <br /> <br /> As capacitors, dielectrics aid in electrostatic energy storage and are critical energy storage components [2]. Dielectric capacitors (electrostatic energy storage capacitors) with high power densities are critical components of electrical and electronic systems for energy storage [3]. Dielectric capacitors are the most widely made and used capacitors, with trillions produced each year, and have countless applications, such as smart grids, electronic circuits, electric vehicles, wearable electronics, etc [4]. However, boosting their energy densities has been a long-standing difficulty. Improving energy density and other properties of dielectric capacitors will make them more competitive and complementary to batteries in energy storage applications. <br /> <br /> The aim of the project is to improve the energy density of ceramic capacitors without compromising their thermal stability. This project will combine microstructure characterisation and performance testing to conduct a systematic study of the defect chemistry, phase transition, conduction, and polarisation mechanisms of ceramic-based energy storage materials; and to develop a new research guide for the design and development of superior lead-free energy storage materials. <br /> <br /> [1] I. Hadjipaschalis, et al., Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 13 (2009) 1513. <br /> [2] Z. Yao, et al., Advanced Materials 29 (2017) 1601727. <br /> [3] X. Hao, Journal of Advanced Dielectrics 03 (2013) 1330001. <br /> [4] L. Yang, et al., Progress in Materials Science 102 (2019) 72.

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for&nbsp;<em><strong>EPSRC DTP Engineering &amp; Physical Sciences</strong></em>&nbsp;(if you do not apply to this programme code, your application will not be considered) and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is&nbsp;<em><strong>Lead-free materials for electrostatic energy storage</strong></em>&nbsp;as well as <a href="">Dr Zhilun Lu</a>&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor.&nbsp;Please state in the Finance section that the funding source you are applying for is&nbsp;<em><strong>EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership 2024/25:&nbsp; Chemical &amp; Process Engineering</strong></em>.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-align:start; margin-bottom:24px">Applications will be considered after the closing date. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 29 April 2024:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p>A highly competitive EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship offering the award of fees, together with a tax-free maintenance grant (currently &pound;18,622 for academic session 2023/24) for 3.5 years.&nbsp; Training and support will also be provided.</p> <p>This opportunity is open to UK applicants only.&nbsp; All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.</p> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about this project, please contact Dr Zhilun Lu by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a>&nbsp;</p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>
<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>