Prediction of new electrolyte solutions for improved electrical energy storage

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Dr Tim Duignant.duignan@uq.edu.au

This project aims to predict the properties of electrolyte solutions in order to develop improved energy storage devices. Electrolyte solutions play a central and fundamental role in a huge range of important systems and applications. They carry the electrical currents that make life possible, they control the chemical properties of the ocean such as its acidity and ability to absorb carbon dioxide. They also carry the electrical current between the positive and negative terminals of a battery. Optimising the electrolyte is, therefore, crucial to improving the stability, charging rate and lifetime of batteries. To do this we need accurate predictive models of the properties of electrolyte solutions. Unfortunately, we still cannot predict even some of the most basic properties of electrolytes solutions.

In this project, we will use state of the art computational techniques to directly simulate electrolyte solutions and calculate their properties. We will then use these simulations to improve approximate models that can rapidly predict the properties of many different electrolyte solutions. These models will then be used to identify suitable candidate electrolytes for use in real energy storage devices. By joining this project, the successful candidate will have an excellent opportunity to develop skills in programming, computational chemistry and energy storage technology.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

Applicants with experience in any of the areas of physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, mathematics or computer science are encouraged to apply.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 2, 2021. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

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