Deposition of Antibacterial Coatings on Textiles using Plasma Techniques

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

PhD funding award: PhD Cotutelle

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU/International)

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 9th March 2020

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2020

For further details contact: Dr Golnaz Taghavi Pourian Azar

Introduction

This PhD project is part of the Cotutelle arrangement between Coventry University, UK and Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. The successful applicant will spend 1 year at Coventry University, the second year at Deakin University and the remaining 1.5 years at Coventry University.

The supervision team will be drawn from the two Universities.

Successful candidates will receive a full scholarship covering course fees and living costs. Students will study in both Universities and on successful completion will be awarded a PhD by both.

About the project

Textiles are known as being conducive to microorganisms’ growth such as bacteria and fungi. This microbial contamination is a great concern, mainly for textiles used in hospitals as medical devices or for health care. Antimicrobial textiles have attracted a great interest in recent years due to their potential for reducing the transmission of infection together with an increase in fabric durability and protecting textiles against the odour-forming bacteria. Antibacterial metal-based ions represent a good alternative to organic compounds, providing new bioactivity mechanisms and allowing the multifunctional modification of the textiles. Metals such as copper, silver, zinc and the metal oxides such as titanium or zinc oxides have been found to have effective antimicrobial properties against microorganisms in textiles.

Accordingly, in this project, a range of antibacterial coatings will be deposited on textiles using plasma techniques including magnetron sputtering and low pressure plasma treatment. Magnetron sputtering has the advantage of producing high-purity coatings with superior adhesion to the substrates and being a simple and environmentally friendly process. A low pressure plasma system will enable efficient and selective production of reactive species that will simultaneously facilitate polymerisation and crosslinking of monomers on the textile surface in order to yield an antimicrobial coating. Coatings will be based on metals such as Ag, Cu, Zn, Ti and their oxides. They will be characterised regarding their structural, morphological, durability and antibacterial properties.

About the Functional Materials Research Group at Coventry University

The Functional Materials Research Group is an enthusiastic and dynamic research team with a very strong track-record and expertise in applied materials research to produce platform technologies addressing real industry needs.

For more information about the Research Centre, please visit the Research Centre web pages.

About the Institute for Frontier Materials at Deakin University

The team at the Institute for Frontier Materials is made up of professors, research academics, research engineers, administrative staff, technical staff and IT technicians. They bring together engineering, chemistry, materials science, physics, biology, mathematics and other disciplines to develop new materials and engineering solutions.

Funding details

£15,009 bursary plus tuition fees - for UK/EU/International students.

Benefits

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills. All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to take part in an exciting multi-disciplinary project, undertaking research at both Coventry University and Deakin University, enabling the development of key skills of high demand within both the academic and industry arenas.

Entry requirements

Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree (second class honours upper division) in a relevant discipline/subject area (Science or Engineering) with a minimum 70% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 70% overall module average, and/or
  • A Master’s Degree in a relevant subject area (Science or Engineering) will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at 70%. In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at 70%.
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study
Additionally
  • Strong background in materials science;
  • Experience in surface engineering, especially plasma coatings is highly desirable;
  • Knowledge on surface characterisation techniques are desirable;
  • Experience in understanding and managing antibacterial properties is an advantage;
  • Analytical thinking;
  • Applicants with publications will be highly regarded.

How to apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Please note that applications must be made to both Universities.

Apply to Coventry University