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PhD scholarship: Additively manufactured photoelectrodes for solar water splitting to produce green hydrogen

University of Warwick – School of Engineering

Qualification aim: Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Start date: 30th September 2024

Funding for: 3.5 years

Supervisor: Dr Jisun Im

Project Description:

Hydrogen is an important component in decarbonising strategies worldwide since it produces only water after consumption. However, the most of hydrogen is produced through grey hydrogen process which uses fossil fuels with almost no carbon capture. Therefore, the low carbon hydrogen production is required to deliver decarbonization and economic benefits from hydrogen. Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting, so called solar water splitting, is a promising sustainable technique to produce hydrogen since it only requires sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, with the potential for no greenhouse gas emissions.
A photoelectrode material is one of the key factors affecting the solar-to-hydrogen (STH) efficiency. The current STH efficiency of PEC water splitting without external bias is reported to be less than 1%, limited due to inadequate solar absorption, charge carrier recombination and instability against corrosion in an aqueous electrolyte. So it needs to reach much higher efficiency to be economical.
The project aims to make advance in photoelectrode materials for PEC water splitting to improve STH efficiency. The successful applicant will explore highly efficient and stable photoelectrode materials (focusing on nanostructured materials) for hydrogen production. Advanced manufacturing techniques including additive manufacturing and atomic layer deposition will be explored to create large photocatalytically active surface area between photoelectrodes and electrolyte via complex 3D electrode design to maximise PEC performance. Throughout the project the student will focus on the synthesis and ink formulation for photoelectrode materials, manufacturing and characterisation of 3D photoelectrodes for hydrogen evolution.

Training provided:
The student on this project will gain multidisciplinary skills across materials chemistry, analytical and electrochemistry, advanced manufacturing (e.g., additive manufacturing and atomic layer deposition) and device engineering. The student will have access to state-of-the art equipment and facility available in the School of Engineering.


The award will cover the tuition fees at the UK rate £4,712, plus a tax-free stipend of £18,622 per annum for 3.5 years of full-time study. The award rate is in line with UKRI.


You should have a first-class or 2.1 honours undergraduate degree, or Masters degree (with Merit or Distinction), in a related field such as Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science, and Physical Sciences. Experimental experience (e.g., materials chemistry, electrochemical analysis and 3D printing) would be an advantage but not required as full training will be given.

How to apply:

Applicants wishing to be considered for this opportunity should submit a full formal application via The selection process involves a pre-selection on applications. The shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Jisun Im (

Application form 'Course search':

Department: School of Engineering

Academic Year: 2024/25

Type of Course: Postgraduate Research

  • Engineering (MPhil/PhD) (P-H1Q2)

In the application form funding section, enter: Source: JIM-Green Hydrogen

The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual’s differences. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.