Fully Funded PhD Studentship: Novel Synthetic Routes for the Stabilisation of Hyper-Expanded Intercalated Iron Selenide Superconductors

Swansea University - Materials Engineering

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship in Materials Engineering.

The special properties of superconducting materials enable important applications in key market sectors such as: (i) communication technologies; (ii) energy storage; (iii) long-distance transmission of green power (iv) high-speed computing and digital electronics and (v) biomedical imaging and screening. Boosted by the growing demand for sustainable technologies and most efficient use of resources, the integration of superconductors in end-use technologies is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. Iron-based superconductors have been under intensive development during the last ten years. Detailed knowledge about structure and properties of intercalated iron-selenide superconductors allows us to traverse interdisciplinary borders providing valuable and exciting impacts into modern material science, physics and chemistry. 

The main aim of the project is the synthesis and characterization of superconducting materials based on intercalated iron selenide. Solution-based reactions, gas-phase and electrochemical exchange processes will be employed for soft chemical intercalation and stabilisation of hyper-expanded superconducting phases. Structure/property relationships across synthetic routes, stability and real structures will be addressed in this project. The project will include synthesis of novel materials under protective atmosphere and characterization of their structure, including structural defects and magnetic properties.

The successful candidate will work within an enthusiastic international team in newly established laboratories equipped with modern equipment for synthesis and manipulation of air- and water-sensitive materials in solid state and in solution. Furthermore, the candidate will have the advantage of working in an actively developing research area with promising potential to progress from laboratory scale to industrial applications. The project will be carried out in Swansea University’s brand new Bay Campus (http://www.swansea.ac.uk/engineering/bay-campus/). We have full access to a state-of-the-art in-house pool of brand new analytical equipment including powder X-ray diffraction, SQUID magnetometry, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, thermal analysis, and electrochemistry. 

To support these in-house characterization facilities and investigate materials under extreme conditions (high- and low-temperatures, high-pressure, in situ monitoring) we also have access to large research infrastructures including the DIAMOND Light Source and European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.

Further information can be found in the recent paper: Yusenko et al. (2015): Hyper-expanded interlayer separations in superconducting barium intercalates of FeSe. Chemical Communications 51, 7112–715.

The successful candidate is expected to start their studentship in January 2017. 

Academic Requirements:
Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject area such as Chemistry, Physical Sciences, Materials or Chemical Engineering.  

Knowledge of synthesis and manipulation under protective atmospheres, powder X-ray diffraction and magnetometry is highly desirable.  

Residency Criteria:
Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is open to UK/EU candidates only. 

Additional Funding Information
The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £14,296 p.a.

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Wales