Materials Science: Fully Funded PhD at Swansea University: Photochemical Characterisation

  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • Deadline: April 8, 2019
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Subject areas: printable photovoltaics, photochemistry, physical chemistry, circular economy, perovskites, chemistry, materials, resource efficiency, recycling

Start date: October 2019

We are on the brink of significant climate change and face the limits of current linear economic models. Transition is necessary to circular economy with widespread deployment of sustainable green-energy technologies that will require mitigation of resource security issues and minimisation of environmental impacts and primary resource consumption. This is only achievable by full lifecycle optimization, intervention at an early stage in product development, and ecodesign and multidisciplinary research that engages stakeholders involved in all sectors of product lifecycles.

Solar energy is a key component of current and future renewable energy. However, analysis of materials requirements for large-scale PV deployment has shown that solar energy production may well be more limited, from a technological and sustainable point of view than initially supposed. Printable Photovoltaics (PPV), which include dye-sensitized, perovskite and organic solar cells, are promising green energy technologies in their infancy, and prime candidates for full lifecycle optimisation to create truly sustainable renewable energy technologies. The remarkable evolution of perovskite-based solar cells (PSCs) during the last few years, reaching certified power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) over 20% and the recent materials developments for organic photovoltaics (OPV) with higher efficiency and enhanced stability have confirmed PPV as an extremely strong candidate for low cost, low embodied energy, performance-competitive PV technology. Currently, international progress in PV research and technology is running at an unparalleled rate, with major contributions from the SPECIFIC group at Swansea University. This involves developing cheaper materials, along with reducing the energy, cost, and time needed to process materials. When these technologies emerge onto the market it is likely that they will be used initially in niche building and product integrated applications. Lifecycle optimisation for these products must include development of end-of-life (EoL) strategies, appropriate design optimisation and substitution of primary and critical resources. Full lifecycle optimisation for circular economy, however, requires further intervention enabling circular flows of PPV materials and products through reuse, remanufacturing and recycling.

The overall aim of this project is to develop an understanding of device photophysics and photochemistry to inform development of remanufacturing and material substitution strategies for perovskite devices, resulting in world leading, high impact articles in the premier international journals in the field.

You will be collaborating with internationally renowned groups and learn how to use techniques such as steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy and transient absorption spectroscopy. This position will be based on Swansea University’s newly developed Bay Campus. You will work in the research group of Dr Matthew Davies as part of an EPSRC funded Fellowship.

Eligibility

Candidates must hold, or expect to obtain by the start date of the project, at least a 2.1 degree in chemistry, physics materials or related discipline (chemistry, photochemistry, photophysics, photovoltaics, materials engineering).

Candidates should demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, ability to think analytically and creatively. Good presentation and writing skills in English are required. Experience in programming or/and fluorescence and transient absorption spectroscopy are desirable but not required.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent) to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit – http://www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/english-language-requirements/

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

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Benefits

The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,009.

Additional funding is available for research expenses.

Application

Please visit our website for more information.

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