Automated Powder Coating Platform for Long-Life Lithium-ion Batteries

Reference number: CCPR119


Li-ion cells age due to unstable electrode interfaces. To maintain cycle-life, coatings are applied to active materials to mitigate against degradation processes. The generation of coatings for each active material powder morphology and type has, thus far, been via an Edisonian approach. Thereby, opportunities exist to develop methods that can rapidly and autonomously optimise the chemistry, distribution, and thicknesses of these coatings to maximise cell performance.

An inorganic synthesis route for coating formation on Li-ion positive electrode powders, utilises a “Sol-Gel” synthetic procedure to form a nanoscale metal-oxide film. The synthesis of inorganic coatings comprises 5 primary steps: solid powder dosing, liquid component dosing, reaction heating/mixing, solvent evaporation/removal, and calcination. The PhD project goal is to combine these existing, and discrete, elements into a fully automated system using a robotic arm. The student will be trained at the interface between the physical and computer sciences to drive implementation of digital and automated methods in (electro)chemistry and frontier battery materials research.

The student recruited to this project will be part of a cohort-training programme focused on the application of digital methods (data and physics based, robotics and automation) to materials chemistry and will be based in the Materials Innovation Factory at Liverpool.

Please apply by completing the online postgraduate research application form here: How to apply for a PhD - University of Liverpool 

Please ensure you include the project title and reference number CCPR119 when applying

Applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible with applications considered when received and no later than 30/06/2024.

We want all of our staff and Students to feel that Liverpool is an inclusive and welcoming environment that actively celebrates and encourages diversity. We are committed to working with students to make all reasonable project adaptations including supporting those with caring responsibilities, disabilities or other personal circumstances. For example, If you have a disability you may be entitled to a Disabled Students Allowance on top of your studentship to help cover the costs of any additional support that a person studying for a doctorate might need as a result.


Open to students worldwide

Funding information

Funded studentship

The EPSRC funded Studentship will cover full tuition fees of £4,786 per year and pay a maintenance grant for 4 years, starting at the UKRI minimum of £19,237 pa. for 2024-2025. The Studentship also comes with access to additional funding in the form of a research training support grant which is available to fund conference attendance, fieldwork, internships etc.

EPSRC Studentships are available to any prospective student wishing to apply including international students. Up to 30% of our cohort can comprise of international students and they will not be charged the fee difference between UK and international rate.