Advanced functional 2D materials (Mxene and its compounds) through Atmospheric plasma for solar fuels

Start date

1 October 2024


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

UKRI and/or University of Surrey

Funding information

We are offering the UKRI standard stipend (currently £18,622 per year) with an additional bursary of £1,700 per year for full 3.5 years for exceptional candidates. In addition, a research, training and support grant of £3,000 over the project is also offered. Full home or overseas tuition fees (as applicable) will be covered.


Fresh water is a critical and rapidly dwindling resource. Worldwide water shortages have led the UN to define its sixth Sustainable Development Goal as “Ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all people”. Carbon emissions and water sustainability are two of the most urgent challenges facing the world. 

In UK, the water sector is the 5th largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the UK.  Water companies around UK must reduce the energy consumption, decrease GHG emissions (at the treatment plant site) and to mitigate climate change, in order to meet UK’s Net Zero Mission. To achieve this target, a novel environmentally friendly and effective approaches to wastewater treatment technologies will be explored in this project. Wastewater pollutants, such as microplastics, pharmaceuticals, textile etc., are sufficient to cause adverse effects on ecosystems, microorganisms and organisms including humans. These pollutants typically escape intact from existing conventional treatment plants thus released into drinking water or the environment.  The proposed project will engineer different 2D environmentally friendly materials for solar photocatalysis to remove emerging organic pollutants from water. The proposed project will discover the applicability of novel approaches for water and wastewater treatment by accomplishing the following objectives: 

Key Objectives   

  • Advanced 2D materials (MXene from molten salts) and functionalisation of photo/electrocatalytic materials and anchoring on to flexible materials for textile wastewater treatment   
  • High end fundamental knowledge development and characterisation for alternative oxidation processes to water oxidation,  
  • Prototype development   

This project builds on with our existing successful project on, that involved deployment of photocatalytic reactor at Denim factory in Turkey. 

The candidate will also have access to Surrey ion beam centre for high end characterization to understand the fundamental mechanism of surface and interface properties of the 2D systems.

Eligibility criteria

Open to both UK and international candidates.

Up to 30% of our UKRI-funded studentships can be awarded to candidates paying international rate fees. Find out more about eligibility.

You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for our Advanced Technology Institute PhD programme.

Applicants should have a minimum of the following qualification, a First-Class Honours or upper Second-Class Honours or MSc degree or MEng in the physical sciences or engineering.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Advanced Technology Institute PhD programme page. Applicants are also required to send a cover letter to explaining their interest in the project and their relevant qualifications, a CV, and the names and contact details of two references. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted directly to arrange a suitable time for an interview.

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Application deadline

Contact details

Satheesh Krishnamurthy

Studentships at Surrey

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