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Drag reduction of superhydrophobic surfaces fabricated via fluid-based techniques


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Project start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Country eligibility
International (outside UK)
Source of funding
External organisation
Additional supervisors
Dr Sepideh Khodaparast
School of Mechanical Engineering
Research groups/institutes
Institute of Thermofluids
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Superhydrophobic surfaces often combine high aspect ratio micro- or nano-topography and chemical hydrophobic coatings to offer ultra-water-repellent surfaces. Various superhydrophobic surfaces have proved effective in significantly reducing the frictional loss on solid boundaries, thanks to providing stable Cassie wetting conditions in which only a fraction of the fluid experiences the no-slip boundary condition, while the rest is in contact with a secondary fluid (usually air) trapped in the microstructure of the surface. Inspired by the microscopic patterns found on the superhydrophobic surface of plants, animals and insects in nature, this project the investigates novel fluid-based techniques for fabrication of tuneable periodic microstructures on the surface of hydrophobic polymer films and characterises their drag reducing functionality. Drag reduction behaviour of micropatterned surfaces will be monitored under laminar flow conditions in microfluidic setups that allow precise control of the geometry and thus shear stress magnitude. The drag reduction abilities of different arrangements of surface features with various dimensions, shape and arrangement will be compared using microfluidic platforms that are equipped with pressure measurement sensors, in order to accurately quantify the frictional pressure drop across the fluid circuit. Simultaneously, microparticle image velocimetry technique will be employed to probe modification of flow structure in the vicinity of the superhydrophobic surfaces. Through quantitative microfluidic experiments, this PhD project investigates the potential of fluid-based technologies as novel versatile tools for fabrication of functional superhydrophobic surfaces that find application in a variety of industrial and biomedical engineering settings.

<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 research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &lsquo;Drag reduction of superhydrophobic surfaces fabricated via fluid-based techniques&rsquo; as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr Sepideh Khodaparast&nbsp;</a>as your proposed supervisor.</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>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<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">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information please contact Doctoral College Admissions:<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>.</p> <p>For more information regarding the project, please&nbsp;contact <a href="">Dr Sepideh Khodaparast</a>: e: <a href=""></a></p>

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