Within the last decade, porous metals have found their way into many industrial applications. This has been enabled among others by the recent progress made in 3D printing and other additive manufacturing technologies. Biomedical implants for bone replacement, structured catalyst architectures previously impossible to manufacture and a variety of highly designed industrial parts are just some examples.


In order to really benefit from the freedom of design, both the structural architecture and the surface characteristics of the 3D material need to be tuned towards the requirements set for a specific application. The interaction of a fluid or a gas within the porous material occurs at its surface and is typically governed by the combination of the chemical nature, morphology, porosity and roughness of the surface. As such, they are of primordial importance for the final performance of the materials.


The progress in manufacturing porous metals and the trend towards finer feature sizes of the porous architecture necessitate the development of new ways to change the surface of the porous material. One example of an alternative approach for the conventional wash- or dipcoating could be a chemical treatment like e.g. an alkali treatment. Depending on the process parameters, a wide variety of titanates with different surface morphologies can be formed by reaction with e.g. the titanium metal.


As such, this PhD project will explore innovative approaches for tuning the surface characteristics on porous titanium parts which are manufactured by an in-house developed3D micro-extrusion process.


Collaboration with University of Antwerp.

Registration deadline: 06/03/2020

  • You hold a Master's degree in Science or Engineering, with a strong background in (inorganic) chemistry.
  • Knowledge on surface chemistry or related analytics are an advantage.
  • You are fluent in English, both oral and written.
  • The PhD student receives a PhD grant from the University of Antwerp.
  • VITO concludes a financing agreement with the University of Antwerp, with VITO undertaking to provide an annual allowance matching the net remuneration of an assistant, plus management costs. The University of Antwerp will pay the selected PhD student a PhD grant matching the before mentioned net amount.