Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

PhD projects are available on an ongoing basis in the areas of “Nanoscale Reaction Imaging” and “Single Nanoparticle Electrochemistry”. Applicants would need to be self-funded or very competitive for highly sought-after scholarships. Australian/NZ citizens/permanent residents would need one scholarship (living expenses) whilst international students would need two scholarships - the second for tuition fees.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Cameron L. Bentley performed his doctoral studies on the development of new techniques/methodology for electroanalysis in room temperature ionic liquids (ILs) at Monash University (Australia). After graduating in early 2016, he joined the Warwick Electrochemistry and Interfaces Group (University of Warwick, UK), supported by subsequent Endeavour, Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Ramsay Memorial Fellowships. During this time, Cameron’s research focussed on the development and implementation of state-of-the-art nanoscale electrochemistry techniques (e.g., scanning electrochemical cell microscopy, SECCM) for probing single-entities (e.g., single nanoparticles) and performing high-resolution electrochemical imaging on nanostructured electrocatalysts. As of November 2020, Cameron has re-joined Monash University to establish his own independent research group, supported by a DECRA Fellowship. His current research centres on combining cutting-edge electrochemical imaging (e.g., SECCM) with co-located microscopy/spectroscopy to solve contemporary structure­­­−function problems in (electro)materials science. Equipped with this knowledge, Cameron hopes to rationally design next-generation catalysts for renewable energy applications (e.g., carbon dioxide reduction, water splitting etc.).

Research interests

My research centres on the use of glass nanopipettes to “see” the nanoscale active sites of electrodes during operation, through high-resolution electrochemical microscopy. Relating electrochemical activity on this scale to the underlying electrode surface structure guides the design/synthesis of the “next-generation” of materials with higher activity, improved stability, longer cycle life etc. Specific projects include:

Nanoscale Reaction Imaging of Water-Splitting Electrodes

Electrochemical water-splitting is recognised to be one of the most promising approaches to store renewable energy in the form of hydrogen fuel. Commercially feasible water electrolysis requires the use of highly stable and active electrodes, known as electrocatalysts, to overcome the high energy barrier(s) associated with water-splitting. Electrode structure and composition strongly dictate the kinetics and mechanisms of electrocatalytic processes, and thus there is a great need for techniques that can that can probe electrochemical activity at the scale of surface heterogeneities, e.g., from single defects to the individual grains and grain boundaries of a polycrystal. In this project, the we will develop and implement a state-of-the-art electrochemical microscopy platform—the first of its kind in Australia—to probe the nanoscale electrochemistry of promising water-splitting electrodes (e.g., two-dimensional materials, noble metals, metal oxides etc.), in order to reveal catalytic active sites directly and unambiguously.

Single Nanoparticle Electrochemistry: from Electrocatalysts to Battery Materials

Over the past three decades, the whole of science has been impacted massively by the revolution in nanoscience. For example, nanoparticles (NPs) have found many applications in electrochemistry, such as the noble metal (e.g., Pt) electrocatalysts used in fuel cells or the metal oxide cathode materials (e.g., LiMn2O4) used in lithium-ion batteries. Elemental composition and surface structure strongly influence NP reactivity, meaning that at the single NP level there can be large functional variations between apparently similar particles due to small differences in size, surface faceting, defects etc. Thus, with the widespread uptake of NPs in electrochemistry and beyond, there is a great demand for techniques that can answer the fundamental question: what is the relationship between structure/composition, and electrochemical activity at the single particle level? In this project, the we will address this important question by developing and implementing a state-of-the-art nanoelectrochemistry platform—the first of its kind in Australia—to probe the structure−activity of individual NPs supported on an electrode surface.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Education/Academic qualification

Chemistry, Doctor of Philosophy , Electrode Reaction and Mass-Transport Mechanisms Associated with the I‒/I2 and H+/H2 Redox Couples in Ionic Liquid Media, MONASH UNIVERSITY

27 Mar 201231 May 2015

Award Date: 1 Sept 2015

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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