PhD and MSC project offers

We are looking for highly motivated PhD and MSc students for following projects. 

Location: Guangdong Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Shantou, China.

how to apply: https://sites.gtiit.edu.cn/research/graduate-studies/degree-programs/


MagniFiCor – Magnetism for the functionalization of metallic materials surfaces and its effect on corrosion phenomena

Prof. Baron-Wiechec was awarded a highly prestigious Fellowship by European Commission in the Horizon 2020 framework program – Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (H2020-MSCA-IF-2020 – 101026899) and she invites enthusiastic students to join her to work as Research Assistant (RA) or towards MSc or PhD dissertation in Baron-Lab on the winning MSCA project called “MagniFiCor”.

The project involves both experimental work and mathematical modelling of the experimental results, thus the aim is to form a team of 2 students with complementary skills and interests. The project will be carried out in China (Baron-Lab www.baron-lab.com) and Poland (NOMATEN Centre of Excellence http://nomaten.ncbj.gov.pl/ ), with possible short visits to labs in Finland (VTT) and France (INSP) – all depends on travel conditions. The first short visit to EU countries is expected in a second half of 2022. For the MSc and PhD candidate also 1-2 semesters at the Technion in Israel is also intended.

The primary objectives of the research are as follows:

  • to build a corrosion test rig for studying the combined influence of magnetic fields and flow of corrosive medium on materials performance.
  • to determine the mechanism of electrochemical corrosion under the magnetic field
  • to develop phenomenological models describing a mechanistic understanding of the interaction between the magnetic field and corrosion phenomena based on the acquired results
  • to combine the analysis of electrical signal of corroding sample and the microscopic observation with automatic classification of corrosion phenomena by Machine Learning and early-time prediction of corrosion from precursor signals

The aim of this project is to presented the first outcome at the International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology (ISFNT-15)  in Hefei, China in April 2022.

Entry requirements for the position is GPA ≥ 80 (or equivalent in other countries).


Nanoxide – Tailoring of nanoporous anodic oxides for the functionalization of metal surfaces

Electrochemical oxidation is a way of obtaining controlled nanostructured oxides on large scale surfaces. The process involves the electrochemical conversion of metal or alloy surfaces in various liquid electrolytes, by applying a combination of current and potential, in a process called anodizing. Despite many years of research, there are still major uncertainties and knowledge gaps in the mechanism of initiation and pore growth in anodic alumina. Better understanding of the mechanism will enable to control and tailor the functionalities of metallic materials surface for specific applications in electronics, nanotechnology, biomaterials and bio-coatings.

Key issues for investigation incudes: the role of anions contaminants and in the generation of porosity, the criteria for generation of porosity under a wide range of anodising conditions relevant to porous alumina growth, calculate the efficiency at which porous alumina films may be formed. You will use Hydrogen and Oxygen stable isotopes to study the anodizing mechanism by applying complementary techniques: Ion Beam Analysis (IBA) and SEM. Access to IBA at INSP in France will be gained by submitting a competitive project proposal to TA (Transnational Access to ion beam facilities in Europe). There will be opportunity to work on industry project with experts from of one of the western companies established in southern China. 

The aim of this project is to presented the outcome at the 73rd International Electrochemical Society Annual Meeting in Xiamen, China in October 2022.

Entry requirements for the position is GPA ≥ 80 (or equivalent for other countries).


HyDRes – Hydrogen and Deuterium retention study (understanding retention and transport of H and D in metallic materials)

Our current energy landscape is heavily dependent on the fast-depleting fossil fuels, changing this dependence is critical to cut down on the greenhouse gas emissions. One of the future solution for energy source problems is nuclear fusion. One of many technological challenges of nuclear fusion power reactor is its water cooling system and presence of radioactive Tritum  in cooling medium – water. Tritium permeation through metallic materials and oxide coatings in a fusion environment is a serious concern. The aim of the project is to understand a mechanism and estimate hydrogen and deuterium (as a proxy for Tritium) permeation through metals and protective oxide layer formed on metals.

Hydrogen (H) or Deuterium (D) will be introduced in materials by electrochemical methods. Coatings will be analyzed “as received” and after various treatment (surface or bulk heat treatment) to amend their structure and properties. Samples will be studied by Thermal Desorption Spectrometry (TDS), and electron microscopy, retention and amount of hydrogen isotopes will be determined by developing a suitable calibration procedure.

The aim of this project is to presented the first outcome at the International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology (ISFNT-15) in Hefei, China in April 2022.

Entry requirements for the position is GPA ≥ 80 (or equivalent in other countries).


Synthesis and evaluation of high surface area (hsa) SrCoO3-δ as OER electrode for alkaline electrolysis

Water electrolysis technology (WET), Hydrogen production, Alkaline electrolysis, Oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts, Perovskite electrocatalysts, State-of-the-art (SOTA). For alkaline electrolysis, recently discovered high-performing OER catalyst i.e. perovskite oxide (SrCoO2.7) can be considered as state-of-the-art OER catalyst, however, reported surface areas are as low as 3.1–4.5 m2/g (leading to a poor electrolysis performance) and were attributed to use of high calcination temperature. Accordingly, a boost in their performance can certainly be realized by increasing their surface area using a low temperature synthesis method, such as, solution combustion synthesis.

The project related duties involve: a literature review, sample preparation and characterization, benchmarking synthesized catalysts and compare with commercial catalyst for acidic electrolysis, analysis and reports of the experiments outcome.

Goals: Input for production of cost-efficient electrocatalysts for commercialization – Synthesis protocol for hsa SOTA OER catalysts for alkaline WET – Standardization of electrochemical characterization protocols for alkaline electrolysis

Entry requirements for the position is GPA ≥ 80 (or equivalent in other countries).


Synthesis and evaluation of high surface area (hsa) IrO2 oxide as OER electrode for acidic electrolysis

Water electrolysis technology (WET), Hydrogen production, Acidic electrolysis, Oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts, Ir based electrocatalysts, State-of-the-art (SOTA). To decrease the loading of expensive IrO2 for acidic-electrolysis, a strategy for improved IrO2 utilization in OER electrode is critical. In general, high-surface-area catalysts are relatively more active by the virtue of more active sites. The OER catalyst are usually deposited/coated on electrode/solid electrolyte, which inherently results in less catalytic surfaces due to limited triple-phase-boundary (TPB) locations. In such circumstances, to achieve maximum surface utilization of electrocatalysts, the catalyst with porous micro/nanostructures are needs to be prepared and will be attempted by employing the solution combustion synthesis methodology.

The project related duties: a literature review, sample preparation, and characterization benchmarking synthesized catalysts and compare with the commercial catalyst for acidic electrolysis, analysis, and reports of the outcome of the experiments

Goals: Standardization of electrochemical characterization protocols for acidic electrolysis – Synthesis protocol for hsa OER catalysts for acidic WE – Input for production of cost-efficient electrocatalysts for commercialization

Entry requirements for the position is GPA ≥ 80 (or equivalent in other countries).