Vacancies

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Vacancies:

PhD studentship on Nanoscale Piezoelectric Materials for Energy Harvesting (2 posts available)

There is growing economic and social need to transition to renewable energies to meet the impending challenges of climate change. Renewable energy will contribute to safeguarding energy security and help to reduce fossil fuel dependency. Our everyday environment has an abundance of energy sources, the choice of which depends on accessibility, implementation and conversion efficiency. These include solar, geothermal, mechanical, magnetic, chemical and biological. Due to the potential benefits of nanostructured materials, there is currently a vibrant research effort for their utilisation in low cost and robust devices. With the drive to device portability and miniaturisation beyond the nanoscale, development of robust renewable power sources as an alternative to batteries is an attractive prospect. The aim of this project is to develop low cost solution processable mechanical and vibrational energy harvesting technologies based on low cost and environmentally friendly nanomaterials. The objective will be to deliver functional devices with energy densities sufficient for remote applications. The scientific challenge is to develop the materials and methods for integration into a range of energy harvesting device structures. We have identified a class of nanomaterials that are an ideal choice for device integration due to their unique properties that can lead to enhanced functionality. A key theme in this project is to investigate the optimal choice of nanomaterial-polymer composite that provides the optimal energy conversion efficiency. Another key aspect is the evaluation of the material in a practical energy harvesting application. In this project, you will focus on either (1) the fabrication and optimisation of nanostructured materials and their application onto an energy harvesting structure for use in a real application scenario or (2) materials design using coherent X-ray imaging at the Diamond Light Source. Both aspects will use the state-of-the-art facilities within the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre. This project is a collaboration with the Electronic Systems and Devices Group (Prof. Steve Beeby) in the faculty of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS).

Applications are invited from bright and highly motivated students with a background in physics, materials science, inorganic chemistry or a related field. The successful candidates will need to be UK nationals and have obtained either a First or Upper Second class honours degree.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr. Marcus Newton ( M.C.Newton(a)soton.ac.uk ).

To apply, please complete an online application form. Further information can be found here.

PhD studentship on Ultra-fast X-ray Imaging of Nanoscale Structures

A long standing dream of chemical physics is to directly observe atomic motions during the event of a chemical transition from one state to another. The ability to quantitatively observe atomic motions within the transition state region where atoms exchange nuclear configurations would greatly facilitate our understanding of the physical process. This is particularly true for strongly correlated electronic materials where the interaction between the valence electrons can strongly influence the materials properties. Such materials are interesting as their unique properties are of considerable utility for device physics, functional materials and the study of fundamental condensed matter physics.

The aim of this project is to understand the initial stages of the femtosecond structural phase transition in strongly correlated electronic materials such as vanadium dioxide. The candidate will become proficient in the use of femtosecond coherent X-ray diffraction imaging (CXDI) for studying femtosecond structural dynamics in nanometre scale self-assembled structures.

To investigate strongly correlated phenomena the student will focus on one or more components to this multidisciplinary project. They include (1) nanoscale materials fabrication and characterisation; (2) time-resolved femto-second coherent X-ray diffraction imaging (CXDI); and (3) supercomputing based finite element materials modelling of light matter interactions.

The successful candidate will work with an international team of research scientists with a broad range of skills. The successful candidate will also visit a number of research facilities across the world including the SACLA XFEL facility in Japan and the Diamond Light Source to perform experiments.

Applications are invited from bright and highly motivated students with a background in physics, materials science, inorganic chemistry or a related field. International students are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English language skills. Informal enquiries can be made by contacting Dr. Marcus Newton via email at M.C.Newton at soton.ac.uk.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr. Marcus Newton ( M.C.Newton(a)soton.ac.uk ).

To apply, please complete an online application form. Further information can be found here.

Diamond Light Source Summer Placements 2015 – Open for Applications

The Diamond Student Summer Placement scheme allows undergraduate students studying for a degree in Science, Engineering, Computing or Mathematics (and who expect to gain a first or upper-second class honours degree) to gain experience working within a scientific environment at Diamond. These 8-12 week placements are paid positions and will provide successful students with an opportunity to work on a research or development project within Diamond. The placements will be paid at a rate of £14,069pa on a pro-rata basis. They are available to students within the European Union, who are registered as undergraduate students at the time of the placements – typically during the summer following their penultimate year.

In addition to working on a specific project, the students will have an opportunity to visit research teams based at Diamond and other facilities on site. Training will be provided to allow the students to give a short presentation on their work and to summarise their activities in a poster.

Short-listed candidates will be invited to a student day on 1st or 2nd of March 2016, where they will visit Diamond to be interviewed for one or more projects and find out more about our scientific and technical activities.