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PhD in Composites of Graphene(s) and Thermoplastic Elastomers

Project Overview

Without exception the first large scale application proposed for most nanomaterials, including the graphene family of materials is as a functional filler for composite applications. To date, the tendency has been to add poorly characterised graphene to the polymer of interest using different mixing devices, more often using mixing methods not representative of that used in industry. Unsurprisingly, this approach has significantly hindered the full exploitation of these composite materials. Critically, the promotion of interfacial interactions between the graphene and polymer is widely ignored by many researchers. Tailoring the properties of such composites is dependent on effective dispersion and distribution of the graphene in the polymer/rubber of interest, the extent of which determined by a combination of favourable interfacial interaction and efficient mixing of the composite component.

In this project, the dispersion and interfacial interaction between model graphene(s) and thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) will be studied. TPEs are multiphase systems and the controlled localisation of the graphene in different phases will be examined. The relationship between processing, composite structure and properties will be investigated.

Essential and desirable criteria

Prospective applicants are expected to have a minimum 2.1 undergraduate (BEng, MEng, BSc, MSci) and/or postgraduate masters’ qualification (MSc) with 65% or above in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Materials Science & Engineering, Polymer Science & Engineering; Rubber Technology or related subject.

Funding and Eligibility

£19,062 stipend 4 years

Funding is available to eligible Home fee statusLink opens in a new window and UK domicile EU students.

To apply

To apply please complete our online enquiry form here and upload your CV.

Please ensure you meet the minimum requirements before filling in the online form.

Key Information:

Funding Source: EPSRC DTP

Stipend: £19,062, 4 years

Supporting company: Versarien Plc/2-D-Tech Ltc

Supervisor: Prof Tony McNally

Available to UK nationals and Home fees students

Start date: October 2022