World-wide implementation of renewable energy sources (solar, wind and tidal) is substantially dependent on the availability of improved technologies for the production of efficient and inexpensive stationary energy storage systems. The extension of battery technology to large-scale applications has become a global priority as intermittent renewable energy systems need to be integrated in the electrical grid. Rechargeable Na-ion batteries have recently re-emerged as promising systems for large-scale stationary energy storage. The fundamental principles of sodium-ion are identical to those of lithium-ion batteries: in charge and discharge the alkali ions shuttle between the two electrodes. However, the use of sodium has a number of advantages due to its unlimited sources, ease of recovery and lower price.
The overall aim of the project is to develop high performance electrodes that are easy to synthesize, safe, non-toxic, long-lasting and cheap in order to achieve a fully functional and ready to use sodium-ion battery (aqueous and organic electrolytes) targeted specifically for large-scale stationary storage, at ambient temperature. The project will use state-of-the-art characterisation techniques to investigate the structural/microstructural development of anode/cathode materials to guide the design of the best performing combination of electrode/electrolytes assemblies for sodium-ion battery technology. The project will provide a broad training in materials chemistry and engineering. It will involve synthetic and manufacturing work coupled with prototype development. Furthermore, it will give the opportunity to visit and work at international laboratories and synchrotron X-ray/neutron sources worldwide. The project will involve interactions with both academic and industrial groups.
Swansea University's College of Engineering provides a fantastic study environment for postgraduate students. We offer a lively multidisciplinary approach to research that has seen over £100 million of research income generated since 2008: www.swansea.ac.uk/engineering
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranks Engineering at Swansea as 10th in the UK for the combined score in research quality across the Engineering disciplines. www.swansea.ac.uk/engineering/research/ref-2014
Our brand new Bay Campus (opening 1st September 2015) has a fantastic beachfront location near to Swansea City Centre and Marina. The Bay Campus is part of a £450 million development project at Swansea University. View the latest videos online: www.swansea.ac.uk/campus-development
This scholarship is funded by, and is part of, The National Research Network in Advanced Engineering and Materials (AEM), which is a transformative alliance that will enhance fundamental and applied research in Wales: www.ernw.ac.uk
The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £14,562 p.a.
There will also be additional funds available for research expenses and conference attendance.
How to Apply
To apply for this studentship, please send a CV and covering letter outlining your suitability for the project to:
Professor Serena Margadonna: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for applications is Friday 24th April 2015.
Informal enquiries about this project are welcome and may be directed to Professor Margadonna at the email address above or by telephone: +44 (0)1792 6060683.