Plasma catalysis is a rapidly emerging multidisciplinary field at the interface of catalysis, nanotechnology, physical chemistry, materials and plasma science. Relevant applications include plasma-assisted catalytic reforming of gas mixtures into fuels, chemicals and synthesis of functional nanomaterials.
While the physical properties and reactive chemistry of APPs are relatively well understood, little is known about the mechanisms of the APP interactions with the nanometer-size features on the surface of catalyst nanoparticles (NPs). These mechanisms are crucial to explain the effects of nanoscale reactive plasma chemistry in catalytic growth of nanostructures.
Plasma-specific effects play a major role in nanoscale catalytic phenomena, which are studied using the original concepts and approaches of plasma nanoscience developed by Professor Ostrikov.
The process outcomes are improved when catalysts with nanometer-scale surface features are used along with the plasmas. It is possible that plasmas and catalysts act synergistically, yet these effects remain largely unexplored. The main reasons are the complexity of the atmospheric-pressure plasmas (APPs) and the associated nanoscale plasma-surface interactions.
The expected outcomes of this research include a basic understanding of plasma-catalyst interactions is achieved through numerical simulations on the impact of plasma species on NP surfaces and the effects of these modified surfaces on catalytic reactions.
Nanoscale interactions of APPs with the NPs and possible synergistic effects need to be understood, especially because the plasma modifies the structure and reactivity of the catalyst surface. These effects may increase the yield and selectivity of catalytic reactions of importance to chemical and energy resource industries of combined worth of several trillion dollars and therefore require urgent attention.
Skills and experience
Specific research focuses and milestones will be personalized to satisfy your interests, abilities and other preferences.
The supervisory team will be assembled by involving experts across the large international network led by Professor Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov. Professor Ostrikov is a Foreign Member of the Academy of Europe, Foreign Fellow of the European Academy of Science and international pioneer and leader in plasma nanoscience..
These and several other opportunities under the leadership of Professor Ostrikov offer multiple opportunities for industry collaborations and placements to world-leading laboratories internationally.
You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.
Contact the supervisor for more information.