2D materials – effect of strain on chemical reactivity; and the physics of borophene

Summary

Two projects: (i) To study the catalytic properties of 2D structures for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) and determine how the catalytic properties are influenced by applying strain. (ii)  Investigation on the structural stability of pristine borophene, adhesive properties of multilayer borophene, and potential catalytic and transport properties

Supervisor(s)

Professor Catherine Stampfl

Research Location

School of Physics

Program Type

PHD

Synopsis

Two-dimensional heterostructures have attracted a lot of interest for their unique physical and chemical properties. Among these properties, scientists have identified that these systems can function as catalysts for a large number of chemical reactions. The recent Nature Nano Review paper (Nature Nano 11, 218, 2016) co-authored by Novosolev (the graphene Nobel Laureate) shows the importance of this topic and its potential for the development of the field of catalysis. The purpose of this project is to study the catalytic properties of a 2D structure (to be agreed by the student and the supervisors) for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) and how the catalytic properties are influenced by applying strain. This project should be implemented in either VASP or SIESTA. In another project, the 2D material borophene, which is a single layer of boron atoms, will be studied. This material has recently been prepared and reported by Mannix et al. (Science 350, 6267 (2015)). The purpose of this project is to perform a detailed DFT investigation on the structural stability of pristine borophene, adhesive properties of multilayer borophene, and potential catalytic and transport properties. The investigation should also incorporate the effect of external factors such as strain and an applied electric field.  

Additional Information

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Keywords

Density functional theory calculations, nanoscience, 2d materials, condensed matter physics, computational materials science

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2169

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