School of Engineering and Materials Science Research Studentships

Graphene based transparent electrodes for tuneable optical devices

Supervisors: James BUSFIELD and Nicola PUGNO

Application Deadline: 10-07-2020

Queen Mary University of London is launching a miniCDT in graphene materials with significant co-funding from the EU Graphene Core 3 Flagship programme. QMUL will establish this new activity with a cohort of five fully funded PhD studentships in the School of Engineering and Materials from September 2020.

Polymer composites are widely used for the manufacture of macroscale components with enhanced properties. For example, the combination of carbon fillers or nanofibers with polymeric materials is used extensively to create versatile, light-weight and high-strength materials, for applications in aerospace, automotive, renewable energy and sports equipment sectors. Two-dimensional nanomaterials such as graphene offer significant potential when incorporated into novel polymer nanocomposites due to their exceptional intrinsic mechanical, thermal, electrical and barrier properties.

The range of projects will suit graduates from a wide range of chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, engineering or materials science backgrounds. In particular applicants with an interest in nanocomposites, graphene materials, polymers and materials engineering are encouraged to apply. The projects will be based at the London campus of QMUL. A supervisory group of 9 academics has been established under the leadership of Prof James Busfield and Prof Nicola Pugno.

Project 4 Details: Graphene based transparent electrodes for tuneable optical devices (Prof James Busfield, Prof Federico Carpi & Prof Nicola Pugno)

A series of novel dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) devices such as refreshable Braille readers, haptic displays and optical devices such as smart lens that can control focal length and astigmatism and smart windows that can control transparency have been developed at QMUL. DEA devices work by applying an electrical field across an elastomer generating actuation. Previously, the electrodes used to generate the electrical fields were made from percolating carbon elastomer networks (that are opaque) or by using conductive polymers with poor conductivity. QMUL research will explore graphene materials both for their optical transparency as well as their electrical conductivity to create the next generation of compact DEA derived optical devices.

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 (Currently set as £17,285 in 2020/21).
  • The minimum requirement for these studentship opportunities 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: http://www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk/money/feestatus/ for details)

Supervisor Contact Details:

For informal enquiries about these positions, please contact Prof James Busfield, Tel: 020 7882 8866, E-mail: j.busfield@qmul.ac.uk

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: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/subjects/materials.html

Further Guidance: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/

Applicants should identify the projects from the ones listed above that appeal most and as part of a personal statement explain why they are suited for this role, and how will this PhD help your future career. Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2020 SEMS Graphene CDT 4’ to associate your application with these studentship opportunities.

Website: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/subjects/materials.html