PhD Studentship: Exploring Low Energy Excitations with Electron Microscopy

University of Oxford

Dr R J Nicholls, Prof J R Yates, Prof P D Nellist

Recent advances in electron microscopy mean that a new generation of microscopes have the ability to combine atomic resolution imaging with high resolution spectra showing bond vibrations. The first of these new microscopes in Europe was unveiled at the UK SuperSTEM facility. The high resolution spectra produced by these microscopes are indicative of the bonding within a material and the combination of imaging and spectroscopy is a powerful tool for understanding the chemical, electronic and catalytic properties of a materials. Interpretation of experimental data is not always straightforward and can be aided by computer simulation. In the case of this new spectroscopic data, however, there are still fundamental questions about the interaction between the electron beam and the sample to answer in order to allow us to model experimental data. This project will use data obtained at the new SuperSTEM facility and focus on the formulation of quantum mechanical simulations to aid the interpretation of experimental data. 

Candidates are considered in the January 2018 admissions cycle which has an application deadline of 19 January 2018. 

This 3.5-year EPSRC DTP studentship will provide full fees and maintenance for a student who has home fee status (this includes an EU student who has spent the previous three years (or more) in the UK undertaking undergraduate study). The stipend will be at least £15,553 per year. Other EU students should read the guidance at for further information about eligibility.

Any questions concerning the project can be addressed to Dr Rebecca Nicholls ( or Professor Pete Nellist ( General enquiries on how to apply can be made by e‑mail to You must complete the standard Oxford University Application for Graduate Studies. Further information and an electronic copy of the application form can be found at

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South East England