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Developing sustainable cathode materials and electrolytes for Al-ion batteries

The project will be related to developing nanomaterials and their graphene-based composites as cathodes for Al-ion batteries and test the battery performance. The project also aims at understanding the battery chemistry using various in situ and ex situ characterisation techniques using which the battery performance can be modified and improved. The student will benefit by exploring a range of characterisation methods as well as develop knowledge in multidisciplinary fields of chemical engineering, chemistry and material science. Besides, opportunities to present their work at national/international conferences and visits to world-leading collaborative academics both in UK and EEA will be gained. Applicants will have or be expected to receive a first or upper-second class honours degree in an Engineering, Chemistry, Physics or a similar discipline. A Postgraduate Masters degree is not required but may be an advantage. Experience in physical chemistry, batteries and material synthesis is an advantage. In addition, he/she should be highly motivated, able to work in a team, collaborate with others and have good communication skills.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)


Abhishek Lahiri - Dr. Lahiri joined Brunel University as lecturer in March 2020. He got his PhD from University of Leeds in 2008 after which he went on to do his Postdoc in USA and Japan. From 2011 he joined Clausthal University of Technology in Prof Frank Endres group and worked extensively on electrodeposition in ionic liquids and understanding the battery electrode/electrolyte interface. His work primarily focusses on electrochemical synthesis of functional materials using ionic liquids for energy storage and electrocatalysis. In ionic liquids, the electrode/electrolyte interface is considerably different from aqueous electrolytes and therefore controlling and modifying the interface leads to change in functional properties of the materials. His research focusses and utilises the property of interfacial modulation to develop new functional materials and tries to bridge the gap between fundamental aspects of electrochemistry and applied electrochemistry. Questions such as can we design a suitable interface to develop dendrite-free deposits which are essential for developing high energy density Li/Na metal batteries are targeted. Besides, developing batteries for grid energy storage with sustainable materials are being researched.