PhD Scholarship in Advanced Materials for Energy Storage

Location
Brisbane, Australia
Posted
20 Dec 2017
End of advertisement period
20 Apr 2018
Ref
501668
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Hours
Full Time

The Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

The University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) is a dynamic multi-disciplinary research institute dedicated to developing technology to alleviate societal problems in the areas of health, energy, manufacturing and environmental sustainability. AIBN brings together the skills of more than 450 world-class researchers complimented by an extensive suite of integrated facilities, working at the intersection of biology, chemistry, engineering and computer modelling. With a reputation for delivering translational science, AIBN conducts research at the forefront of emerging technologies, and has developed strong collaborations with leading members of industry, academia and government. AIBN goes beyond basic research to develop the growth of innovative industries for the benefit of the Queensland and Australian economies.

The UQ Nanomaterials Centre (NANOMAC) is an interdisciplinary research centre located within the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and the School of Chemical Engineering, led by Professor Lianzhou Wang.  The centre was founded by Professor Max Lu in 2000 and subsequently became part the ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials (ARCCFN) from 2003 until the end of the ARCCFN in 2013.   

The Nanomaterials Centre (http://www.nanomac.uq.edu.au/index.html) currently focuses on the synthesis and characterisation of nanomaterials in the three key areas of energy, environment and health. It has a very well-equipped laboratory, housing over $5,000,000 worth of characterisation and synthesis equipment. The interdisciplinary team includes chemists, chemical engineers and materials scientists, with many of the senior researchers collaborating with other institutes at UQ, including the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), Institute of Molecular Biosciences (IMB), Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), and the Diamantina Institute (UQDI). The principal research focus of the Nanomaterials Centre (Nanomac) has been to address the major global challenges of clean and sustainable energy and water supply, and to advance innovative and equitable health care.

The projects

The proposed research will focus on developing advanced materials for high performance energy storage devices, including lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, Lithium-sulfur batteries, and Aluminium-ion batteries; and the design of next generation energy conversion or storage devices (i.e. flexible/transparent/microsized batteries or supercapacitors) and new conceptual energy storage system (i.e. solar rechargeable battery). Research projects are available in several areas:

  1. The successful candidate will be working as part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project, entitled “New hierarchical electrode design for high-power lithium ion batteries” in collaboration with the Griffith University and Stanford Univeristy.  This project aims to develop new types of hierarchical electrodes for high-rate lithium ion batteries with long cycling life. The key concepts are the development of multi-shelled hollow structured silicon-based anode and Li-rich layered oxides cathode to achieve both high power and energy density, and the adoption of graphene to further improve rate capability and cycling stability. Effective energy storage systems play an important role in the development of renewable energies and electric vehicles. The project outcomes will lead to innovative technologies in low carbon emission transportation and efficient energy storage systems.
  2. The successful candidate will be working as part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) DECRA Project, entitled “Designing solar rechargeable battery system for efficient solar energy storage”.  This project aims to develop a new prototype of solar rechargeable battery for the direct capture and storage of abundant but intermittent solar energy. This Project will integrate newly designed solar-driven photoelectrochemical energy conversion process and bifunctional photoelectrode into lithium-sulfur battery to achieve high energy storage efficiency. Expected outcomes include high-performance solar rechargeable batteries and new knowledge resulting from the disciplinary collaborations between energy storage, photoelectrochemistry and nanotechnology. These will provide advances in material science and solar energy storage technologies, thus addressing the global energy shortage and environmental pollution issues. This position is open to Domestic students only.
  3. The successful candidate will be working as part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project, entitled “Design of New Two-dimensional Materials for Lithium Sulfur Batteries”.  This project aims to develop new types of hierarchical cathode composites for high capacity lithium-sulfur battery with long cycling life. The key concepts are to confine high amount of active sulfur in porous framework of conductive graphene and exfoliated TiO2 nanosheets to improve the energy density, and to use a unique hybrid protecting layer to suppress the cycling stability problem. The relationship between synthetic conditions, structure, and electrochemical performance will be established. The outcomes will lead to innovative technologies in low carbon emission transportation and efficient energy storage systems.

The candidates will be housed in an excellent research environment with the latest laboratory facilities and have the opportunity to work with highly qualified researchers. During the course of the PhD, the candidate will have the opportunity to attend (inter)national conferences to present their research.

The person

These projects are only suited to students who are highly driven and have a desire to pursue a high level research career in material science or physical chemistry. Applicants should possess an appropriate qualification for entry into the PhD training scheme, preferably in one of the following fields: Materials Science, Physical chemistry, Electrochemistry, Nanoscience, and Chemical Engineering.

They should have an outstanding track record of academic achievement, excellent laboratory skills that are relevant to the project and have the drive to lead this research-intensive PhD project. Applicants should have the ability to think critically, rationally and independently. Excellent verbal and written English skills are essential.

Candidates need to obtain an UQ Graduate School Scholarship (UQGSS – Living, tuition and health cover for international students; living and tuition for domestic students) or equivalent prior to commencement of candidature. Prospective students will be provided with assistance to apply for UQGSS.

Enquiries

To discuss these roles and for further information, please contact Dr Bin Luo at b.luo1@uq.edu.au.

To apply for EOI please DO NOT use the Apply button below.  Please email Dr Bin Luo and supply the following documentation: Cover letter, Complete Tertiary Academic Records (with grades/GPA scores, and official grading scale details), and detailed Academic Resume/CV.

Expression of Interest Closing Dates

Please note the different EOI closing dates for international and domestic candidates as per UQ Graduate School research higher degree application and scholarship round timelines as advertised on their website: https://graduate-school.uq.edu.au/scholarships.

Deadline domestic students: 20 April 2018

Deadline international students: 26 January 2018

Applications close: 20 April 2018 11:55pm E. Australia Standard Time

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