PhD Studentship – Iridium-free Catalysts for Water Electrolysis with Manchester Metropolitan University

The clean and sustainable production of hydrogen offers an essential pathway to decarbonisation of numerous industries and technologies.  Electrolysers, which split water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity are expected to play a critical role in achieving such ambitions.

Today, commercial proton exchange membrane electrolysers utilise precious metal catalysts such as iridium which is both scarce and expensive. During this four-year PhD we will investigate and characterise iridium-free catalysts for electrolysis.  While this represents a significant challenge, due to the demanding conditions within the electrolyser, this work has the potential to have significant impact. Throughout the project, we will develop novel synthetic methods, conduct electrochemical characterisation techniques and utilise advanced materials characterisations.

This exciting new project will be conducted with industrial partners Johnson Matthey, a global leader in sustainable clean technology and green hydrogen production. The project is funded by an Industrial CASE award and will be jointly supervised by Dr. Laurie King and Dr. Yagya Regmi. The successful candidate will be based within the University’s Advanced Materials and Surface Engineering research centre.

Project aims and objectives

The primary objective of the project is the design and characterisation of zero-iridium catalysts and ink formulations for water electrolyser technologies. This will require development of synthetic methods, including magnetron sputtering and wet chemical methods, as well as employing a wide range of electrochemical and materials characterisation techniques to develop fundamental understanding of electrocatalyst performance. 

Specific requirements of the project

We are seeking a suitably qualified candidate, ideally with a Master‚Äôs degree in Chemistry, Materials Science or another related subject. Experience in catalysis, nanoparticle synthesis, and/or electrochemical methods is desirable, though not essential as full training will be provided to the selected applicant.

Candidates should have an interest in electrocatalysis, materials synthesis and sustainable technologies. The successful applicant will be based at Manchester Metropolitan University, but will have opportunities to travel to Johnson Matthey as well as for conferences and meetings. 

We support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles and will consider flexible study arrangements. 

For more information and to apply visit

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