Research Fellow in Developing Novel on Chip Battery Technology for Efficient Electrocatalysts Screening and Mechanism Study



£31,866 to £35,845 per annum

How to maximise the electrical energy supplies and balance the CO2 emissions has been an enormous challenge that the world needs to be urgently addressed. This project presents meaningful and adventurous research into the novel metal–CO2 electrochemical technology, seeking to achieve a breakthrough in efficient CO2 fixation and advanced energy storage/conversion, through rational design of metal–CO2 battery and rapid on-chip screening of electrocatalysts. This project will also look at fundamental studies of electrochemical mechanisms through a multimodal in situ characterisation platform. The research will be performed within a vibrant and dynamic environment at Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), University of Surrey and in collaboration with UK National Physical Laboratory (NPL), UK National Ion Beam Centre and industrial partners (Johnson Matthey and QinetiQ). The successful candidate will be joining a strong research team and supported by the PI, technicians and PhD students.

The ATI is one of University of Surrey’s world-leading research centres in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Nanotechnology, Energy and Advanced Materials, etc. The ATI capital equipment is valued at over £30M, with three ion implanters, a fully functional class 100 cleanroom with all its constituent equipment, an electrochemical characterisation laboratory, etc. The NPL is one of the UK’s leading science facilities and research centres, excellence in developing and applying the most accurate standards, science and technology available. The PI Dr Yunlong Zhao has a deep interest in understanding and optimising electron/ion transport at the interface between electrode material and energy conversion/storage systems via engineering micro-/nanoscale materials and electrodes to enable novel energy conversion/storage devices, sensors, and their integration in on-chip or 3D soft electronic systems. His work has led to over 50 publications including Nature, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Communications, etc.

This position is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and available from 5th January 2021 (and latest start date of 5th April 2021), for a period of 21 months initially.

We will consider candidates with various research backgrounds including material science, chemical engineering, chemistry, physics and electronic engineering. Applicants are required to have a PhD or be close to obtaining a PhD and have relevant experience (not necessarily all) in electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, battery fabrication and testing, nanofabrication. Candidates should also be self-motivated, have excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and a good record of publications of research papers in journals.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Yunlong Zhao (Email:, website: Formal applications should be submitted through our programme page here. Please ensure that you upload your CV, covering letter and publication list (highlighting what you think are your three best publications) in the upload section of the online application.

Further details:

Please note, it is University Policy to offer a starting salary equivalent to Level 3.6 (£31,866) to successful applicants who have been awarded, but are yet to receive, their PhD certificate. Once the original PhD certificate has been submitted to the local HR Department, the salary will be increased to Level 4.1 (£32,817).