HDR Scholarship - Operando atom probe characterisation of battery materials

Applications now open

A PhD Scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Operando atom probe characterisation of battery materials'

Project Supervisors

Associate Supervisors


GTP Research


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

Leading research groups worldwide are now dedicating resources towards developing in situ and operando characterisation capabilities in order to gain a more complete understanding of the electrochemical processes occurring inside an electrochemical device during operation. In recent years, operando XRD and NMR techniques are not particularly sensitive to the extremely important reactions at the surface, which can play a dominant role in governing the materials performance. Atom probe tomography (APT), however, gives atomic-scale compositional information of the sample surface and below, but has not yet been considered for operando studies of electromaterials in the fields of energy storage, alloys or corrosion. It has, however, been used for the ex situ study of electrochemical processes in corrosion studies to great effect.

Project aim

This project will focus on development of world-leading operando atom probe measurement technology to study key electrochemical device processes and allow atomistic understanding of key interfacial processes to be studied for the first time. These measurements will be corroborated against established ex situ measurements (APT, XPS, Raman, FTIR, SEM). A key aspect is the use of established, world-leading IFM materials research on ionic liquid and/or solid state electrolytes to enable and designing more advanced battery systems. The project involves extensive experimental work, the scale and scope of which will require the student to develop an extensive range of expertise on a number of advanced characterisation instruments and techniques.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Wednesday 30th January 2019.


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $27,596 per annum tax exempt (2019 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate or overseas
  • International students only: Tuition fee and overseas health coverage for the duration of 4 years

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic or international candidate
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • Degree in materials engineering, materials science, chemistry or physics
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct scientific research through either referred journal publications or excellent project marks
  • Demonstrated initiative and the ability to work independently and to meet deadlines
  • Basic skills in electrochemistry and prior experience in spectroscopy and microscopy (atom probe tomography and/or electron microscopy)

How to apply

Apply via the Institute for Frontier Materials Expression of Interest form.

Learn more about submitting a successful application on Deakin's How to apply page.


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Ross Marceau or A/Prof Patrick Howlett

Dr Ross Marceau
Senior Research Fellow (Advanced Characterisation)
Email Ross Marceau
+61 3 522 71283

A/Prof Patrick Howlett
Associate Professor (Research)
Email Patrick Howlett
+61 3 924 45107