This is a project to investigate new and exciting nanomaterials that directly contribute to a sustainable future with properties that can enhance the energy conversion from renewable sources as well as providing solution for environmental monitoring. A range of synthesis methods will be used to produce these new nanomaterials where plasma-based processes presents an attractive approach for the fabrication of nanomaterials.

The PhD student will be working within an EPSRC-funded project (EP/T016000/1) aimed at developing sensors for CO2 monitoring in the ocean. The work will therefore include the development of nanomaterials with tailored properties and to be included in a microfluidic device. However, the synthesis methods will provide the opportunities to synthesize similar nanomaterials that have applicability also in other energy conversion applications (e.g. photovoltaics, solar-thermal).

The lab is equipped with an extensive range of materials characterization facilities as well as other analytical equipment.

The candidate applying for this PhD project should have interest in nanomaterials, their properties and characterization. Prior experience with plasma synthesis is not required, but the candidate should have expressed interest in working with plasmas.

Applications are particularly encouraged from graduates with an Electrical, Mechanical, Physical Sciences, Chemical or Materials Science Engineering background.

Further details: Prof D Mariotti (;

Essential criteria

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study.

We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.

In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.

Funding and eligibility

Department for the Economy (DFE)

  • The scholarship will cover tuition fees and provide a maintenance allowance of £15,609 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). The scholarship also provides £900 per annum as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation.
  • To be eligible for the full scholarship, applicants must meet UK residency requirements. This means that you must have been resident in the United Kingdom for the full three year period before the first day of the first academic year of the course.
  • EU nationals who do not meet UK residency are eligible to apply for a fees only award which will cover tuition fees (no maintenance support is provided).
  • Non-EU nationals must be ‘settled’ in the UK by the closing date of the application or have been ordinarily resident in the UK for purposes other than study for the past three years in order to be eligible for an award.
  • Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Due consideration should be given to financing your studies. Further information on cost of living

The Doctoral College at Ulster University