I studied Physics Engineering at Politecnico di Milano (Milano, Italy), where I earned a bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s degree. Both of them consisted mainly of solid state physics classes, with a particular focus on semiconductors (for electronics and photonics application) and magnetic nanostructures. My first experience in research was at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble, France), where I spent 10 months working as a trainee for my master thesis project.
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Brief project description:
This 4-year PhD project will explore new exfoliated metal oxide materials for high-power sodium-ion batteries for grid storage. Exfoliation and restacking of layered oxide materials offers the potential to increase the capacity and power capabilities of electrodes. This studentship will use a range of methods to obtain previously unexplored exfoliated materials and will investigate the impact that the synthetic conditions have on the structure and electrochemical behaviour of the new materials by using a range of lab and synchrotron characterisation methods. Ultimately we aim for understanding of synthesis-structure-property relationships required to drive the search for new materials into new and innovative areas and, ultimately, towards the rational design of future electrodes.
Synthesis, standard laboratory characterisation and electrochemical characterisation of materials will be carried out in the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham. At Diamond, we will develop a low-background electrochemical cell suitable for in situ pair distribution function (PDF), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray absorption spectroscopy experiments, and use this to characterise the changes to the structure of the materials of interest during ion (de)insertion processes in batteries. Analysis of PDF data will take advantage of the new capabilities of TOPAS software which has the ability to refine structures of non-bulk materials against XRD and PDF data simultaneously; the student will use and develop new methods of modelling these multi-length-scale materials.
We anticipate the main outcomes of the project to be:
Applications to this studentship will open in early 2018.
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Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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