Hierarchical nanomaterials for applications in the energy and telecoms sectors

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Materials


Over the past 10 years, there has been much recent progress in understanding nanomaterials formation and scaled-up production techniques from laboratory scale to industrial scale manufacturing. Many technical barriers have been identified in this area of research. At present, however, there is no known commercial technology using h-BN multi-wall nanotubes at scale. Specially tailored h-BN nanomaterials including h-BN nanotubes from Oxford's ERC programmes and we currently work on enhancing the UK/EU manufacturing capability in aerospace composite structures using special nanomaterials technology derived from research of the European Research Council.

This project will aim to develop fast, facile, and inexpensive routes to manufacturing hierarchical inorganic nanostructures and related composite materials. Nanomaterials are ideal components for adding extra functionalities to classical material systems and composites. Various production techniques and combinations of these will be explored including hydrothermal methods, chemical vapour deposition techniques, wet chemistry, and novel techniques to composite manufacturing will be deployed. The target applications for this capability fall within the energy sectors and ultra-performance radomes for airborne sensors systems and a growing opportunity to deliver digital services to users on the move e.g. passengers in civil aircraft and trains. Mobile radomes for the aviation industries need to be strong in structure and impact, lightweight and easily formed to aerodynamic shapes, and be resistant to erosion and lightning. Above all the radome must be transparent i.e. have the minimum insertion losses for that operational frequency range. In the last 40 years, a range of insulating materials such as ceramics and resin composites have been used to optimise properties such as durability against environment yet possessing maximum and/or tunable radio frequency transparencies. However, in advanced high-mobility applications utilisation of modern lightweight nanocomposites as structural materials for radomes with superior toughness, thermal properties and other functionalities are essential.

The PhD project will form part of the European-funded project OxfordNano involving UK and European Industry project partners in the areas of advanced materials, composite manufacturing and radome design will apply speciality nanomaterials to solve the formidable technical problems in engineering multifunctional composites for radomes and energy applications, where conventional materials and engineering approaches are reaching the limit of their impact.

The Themes:

Information and communication technologies (ICT)
Manufacturing the future
Physical sciences


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509711/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1939606 Studentship EP/N509711/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2021 Pierre Romain