HDR Scholarship - Nanomaterial coatings using plasma technology

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Nanomaterial coatings using plasma technology'.

Project Supervisor


Geelong Technology Precinct (GTP), Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

Recently, novel nanomaterial coatings for textiles with advanced functionalities such as thermal regulating capacity and fire retardancy have attracted worldwide attention. Thermally conductive textiles are one of the most promising fields with the potential to adjust body temperature, provide thermal comfort and protection.
Direct heat conduction and spread of the fibres enable personal cooling in hot weather or during sports, efficiently. However, their intrinsically low thermal conductivity and poor fire resistance restricts further applications in aviation, fire extinguishing or military requiring high temperature and high thermal conductive heat spreaders.

The Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) is the leading fibre materials science research institute in Australia and one of the top research institutes in the world. We have over 350 members working on multidisciplinary projects using our globally recognised fibre production and characterisation facilities.  The ARC Research Hub for Future Fibres leverages the vast knowledge of our internationally acclaimed academics and researchers to solve real world Industry Partner problems. This is an exciting opportunity to join an ARC Research Hub and be mentored by academic and industry experts in addressing the sustainability challenges in the fibre/textile industries.

Greater Geelong is in the top 10% of the fastest growing local government areas (LGA) in Australia and adjacent to the Surf Coast LGA, which has the second fastest growth nationally. Considered the gateway to the Great Ocean Road and home to the Geelong Cats AFL team, the region also boasts magnificent scenery, award winning wineries and famous surf breaks such as Bell Beach. Getting to Melbourne, the largest city in Australia, is easy with convenient public transport options, a modern freeway system and direct domestic/international flights.

Deakin University is committed to the impact themes of:

  • Advancing society, culture and the economy
  • Building safe and secure communities
  • Creating smarter technologies
  • Enabling a sustainable world
  • Improving health and wellbeing

Over 90 nationalities are represented in the Deakin community with the IFM having one of the largest international components. Inclusiveness, understanding and openness to new ideas are core values of all our people.

Project aim

The goal of this project is to develop a new functional coating strategy combining novel 2D nanomaterials with advanced properties such as flame retardancy and high thermal conductivity using plasma technology.

This PhD programme aims to:

  • assess different potential textile coatings that may increase durability and sustainability
  • evaluate energy, water and chemical consumption during the materials’ synthesis and processing
  • develop evaluation and parameter testing protocols
  • fully characterise new coating options across a range of functional uses
  • identify additional end-user applications for new technologies

The project will also seek to enhance the PhD candidate’s skills and knowledge in:

  • a broad range of fibre characterisation and examination techniques available through equipment and expertise
  • problem solving skills to identify opportunities for standardised testing protocols in conjunction with Hub staff and Supervisors
  • collaboration strategies for Deakin University, Hub/IFM staff and industry Partner Organisations
  • team skills and able to work in a multi-cultural research group
  • developing a body of work that furthers the candidate’s own research field and that of the Supervisor/Hub/IFM

Important dates

Applications close 5pm,Wednesday 30 August 2023


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $33,500 per annum tax exempt (2023 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • International students only:  Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic or international candidate. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • 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:

  • demonstrated experience of safe working practises in a chemical laboratory
  • good communication, presentation and writing skills
  • familiarity with nanomaterial/textile characterisation techniques and knowledge of textile chemistry would be advantageous

How to apply

Please complete the expression of interest form as below. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be invited to submit a full application. Please do not contact us unless instructed to do so.


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact A/Prof Weiwei Lei

A/Prof Weiwei Lei
Email A/Prof Weiwei Lei
+61 3 522 72881