School of Engineering and Materials Science Research Studentships

Strain engineering of multifunctional polymer nanocomposites based on 2D materials

Supervisors: Dimitrios PAPAGEORGIOU

Application Deadline: 20-07-2020

Since the discovery of free-standing, monolayer graphene in 2004 and the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010, the worldwide interest in graphene and other two-dimensional materials is still increasing, as can be realized from the number of publications per year and the massive investments in research. The unique properties of 2D materials, along with their geometrical characteristics constitute them exceptional candidates for the fabrication of multifunctional, high-end polymer nanocomposites that can be used in numerous applications.

This project will focus on the development of high-performing polymer nanocomposites based on layered (2D) materials, their heterostructures and hybrid platforms. A number of polymer processing methods will be used for the production of nanocomposites with enhanced mechanical, conductive, barrier and thermoelectric properties. The effect of biaxial and/or uniaxial strain on the ultimate properties of the nanocomposites will be evaluated in detail with state of the art techniques in order to realise the potential of the produced nanocomposites in advanced applications such as in structural materials, flexible electronics and wearable devices. Besides property characterization, the project will also focus on modelling the behaviour of the nanocomposites by developing novel micromechanical and numerical models. The newly-produced theoretical models will provide an understanding of the reinforcement characteristics of the nanofillers and should be able to act as guidelines for the design and production of highly functional nanocomposites. 

The group has extensive experience and a strong track-record in the field of polymer nanocomposites from the fabrication and characterization of the nanoscale reinforcements, to the design and synthesis of the nanocomposites, the advanced characterization of the nanocomposites and the modelling of their behaviour (see Carbon 2020, 2D Materials 2020, Nanoscale 2020, Composites Part B 2019, 2D Materials 2019, Nanoscale 2019, Composites Science & Technology 2019, 2018, 2016, Composites Part A 2018, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 amongst others). The selected candidate will join an active and interdisciplinary research group and will build a unique set of skills in the fields of materials science, polymer engineering, polymer nanocomposites and structural, physical and mechanical characterization.

Preference will be given to applicants with experience on fabrication and characterization of polymer (nano)composites and knowledge of two-dimensional materials. You should also be well-organised and self-motivated with excellent oral and communication skills.

Applicants are required to submit a brief description (as a cover letter) to explain the motivation behind their application, their research interests and how will this PhD help their future careers.

QMUL Research Studentship Details

  • Available to Home/EU Applicants only.
  • Full Time programme only.
  • Applicant required to start in September 2020.
  • The studentship arrangement will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (set as £17,285 for 2020/21).
  • The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
  • If English is not your first language you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).
  • Please note that this studentship is only available to Home/EU Applicants. (See: for details) 

Supervisor Contact Details
For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Dr. Dimitrios Papageorgiou
Tel: 020 7882 2774

Application Method
To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the Materials Science programme (Full Time) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Research degrees in Materials:

Further Guidance:

Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2020 SEMS DP’ to associate your application with this studentship opportunity.