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

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,500 (tbc) per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to:

The Doctoral College at Ulster University