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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This unique project will investigate the nature of potassium in materials associated with ion battery technology. Lithium currently dominates battery technology, but is unsustainable due to its rarity; potassium batteries represent a sustainable alternative, with great scope for the development of new cathode materials. These inorganic metal compounds will also have application in catalysis for highly important industrial reactions, such as ammonia synthesis and green fuel production.
In collaboration with Diamond, the successful candidate will study the local structure of potassium in these materials as they operate, using advanced X-ray characterisation techniques. Such pioneering science into the nature of potassium as it performs its role will require the design of bespoke reactors and to work alongside colleagues in developing new characterisation modelling methods. We will use this knowledge to develop new battery technology and catalyst formulations that will have real impact in creating greener and more sustainable energy storage and processing.
Applicants will be required to be highly motivated and willing to spend up to 50% of their time at Diamond Light Source, in addition to time at Loughborough University. The project will involve significant beamtime and requires strong interpersonal and communication skills. In addition, the applicant will have the opportunity to interact with the UK Catalysis Hub, situated with Diamond on the Harwell campus.
Applications to this studentship will open in early 2018.
Diamond Light Source Ltd. holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.
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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