Alginate-based corrosion-resistant coatings for metal structures

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BCMaterials – Basque Center for Materials, Applications and Nanostructures is a research center included in the BERC’s (Basque Excellence Research Centers) network, devoted to generate knowledge on the new generation of materials, and turning this knowledge into (multi)functional solutions and devices for the benefit of society, is currently calling for a


Master scholarship position


to work on project


Alginate-based corrosion-resistant coatings for metal structures


To prevent the corrosion of metal surfaces, a coating between metal and environment is deposited to keep oxígeno/seawater away from the metal. These coatings provide superior chemical/mechanical properties. However, they are not enough to prevent a corrosion reaction. Low permeability and good adhesion of coating to metal surface are essential for corrosion control. In this project, it will develop polymer/graphene oxide composite coating cross-linked by a natural alginate that is actively involved in the wet chemistry process to form a novel cell-free material. This coating material has a unique gas/water permeation prevention property that does not exist in nature. Alginate is a natural polysaccharide with low toxicity and potential to bind with metals. The project will focus on the study of the structural determinants through computer simulation and experiments, the modulation of coating specificity and biological binder of a key cross-linking function in Metal Anticorrosion.


The following techniques, instruments and facilities will be used:


Multidisciplinary approach including that XRD, TEM, SEM, FTIR, Raman, TGA, etc. will be used to characterize the microstructure of coatings. Optimisation of microstructure of the coatings will be carried out by tuning the ratio of three components. Mechanical property will be tested by microindentation, adhesion test between coating and metal component, etc.


The following tasks will be performed:


  1. Development of novel polymer/graphene oxide nanocomposites
  2. Computer simulation and experimental tests
  3. Functional validation of obtained composites-based coating


BCMaterials offers a scholarship to master students for the master thesis to be done at BCMaterials, for a total amount of 600 EUR per month for up to 5 months, in collaboration with the Group of Macromolecular Chemistry Research Group (, belonging to the Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT/ZTF) at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).


BCMaterials is committed to equality of opportunity and values diversity.


This position is part of the Call for Master Scholarships published on BCMaterials website at with the reference (2020-28), therefore, the terms and conditions of the call apply. Candidates must meet the general eligibility criteria stated on it, and fill the application form at the end of this page, including their CV, academic records and motivation and reference letters.


Before applying, candidates are encouraged to get in touch with researchers in charge of the project, in order to obtain detailed information about it:


  • Academic Tutor (UPV/EHU): Leire Ruiz (
  • Co-director (BCMaterials): Qi Zhang (


All the applicants will be contacted by BCMaterials through a supplied email, as soon as the call is closed.