Functional nickel coatings obtained by electrodeposition and electroless deposition

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

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

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

Application deadline: March 30th 2020

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2020

Prof. Andrew Cobley (aa2266@coventry.ac.uk)
+44 (0) 7974 984 051


Functional nickel coatings obtained by electrodeposition and electroless deposition

Nickel coatings have applications in high value sectors such as electronics, automotive, aerospace etc. However, industry now demands coatings with multi-functional properties e.g., wear and corrosion resistance, or having properties such as hydrophobicity, antibacterial activity, etc.

This is often achieved by multi-layer coatings where each layer consists of a different metal with different physical and mechanical properties. However, in terms of manufacturing this means that several coating processes are required increasing production times and manufacturing costs.

The proposed Co-tutelle PhD programme will take a novel approach to produce multi-functional coatings using a single metal, namely Nickel. By introducing several plating enhancement methods (ultrasound, pulse/pulse-reverse electrodeposition, magnetic field, duplex plating, modification of electrolyte etc.) for set periods of time a multi-layered coating can be produced where each layer has a different morphology, crystal structure etc., producing a multi-functional material of a single metal. Indeed, this approach even presents the possibility of producing such coatings from a single electrolyte.

This radical approach will have high academic impact creating opportunities for Q1 journal publications. A comprehensive characterisation of the coatings will be performed identifying industrial applications leading to potential collaboration and funding opportunities.

Training and Development

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 PhD will be a co-tutelle with University of Mons. The successful applicants will receive training at both Mons and Coventry in a wide range of electrochemical deposition techniques and surface analysis equipment. By experiencing and living in 2 different countries the PhD will also provide the student with a wide cultural experience and they will receive a PhD from each institution

Entry criteria for applicants to PhD

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
    PLUS
    the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years.
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).
  • It is essential that applicants have expertise and practical experience of chemistry and preferably electrochemistry.
  • The candidate must be able to demonstrate experience of safe working practises in a chemical laboratory.
  • A background in electrochemical deposition systems (particularly electroless plating, electroplating and pulse electroplating) would be extremely advantageous.
  • Knowledge of chemical analysis methods.
  • Knowledge of electrochemical analysis methods.
  • Knowledge of methods to characterise thin metal coatings.
  • Good communication, presentation and writing skills.
  • Excellent team skills and able to work in a multi-cultural research group.

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact via email Professor Cobley

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.

Apply to Coventry University